Kris Verdonck (born 1974) studied visual arts, architecture and theatre and this training is evident in his work. His creations are positioned in the transit zone between visual arts and theatre, between installation and performance, between dance and architecture. As a theatre maker and visual artist, he can look back over a wide variety of projects.
He directed theatre productions and produced various installations, a.o. 5 (2003), Catching Whales Is Easy (2004), II (2005). The first STILLS, consisting of gigantic projections, were commissioned by La Notte Bianca in Rome. In 2007 he created the theatrical installation I/II/III/IIII, while in 2008 END premièred at the Kunstenfestivaldesarts in Brussels.
Verdonck often presents combinations of different installations/performances as VARIATIONS. VARIATION IV was shown during the Festival d’Avignon in 2008. In 2010 Kris Verdonck finished the ‘circuit performance’ ACTOR #1 which shows three variations on the theme from chaos to order. K, a Society, a circuit of installations inspired by the work of Franz Kafka premièred at Theater der Welt 2010 in Germany. In 2011 Verdonck presented two research projects: TALK sets out to explore language, while EXIT, created with Alix Eynaudi, aims to tackle theatre as a medium. In the same year, his first solo exhibition was held at House for contemporary art Z33 together with a new work: EXOTE. In 2012 Verdonck created M, a Reflection: a theatre production with texts by Heiner Müller with actor Johan Leysen and his digital double on stage. H, an Incident, a musical theatre performance for big stage, based on the life and work of Daniil Harms, premièred in 2013 during the Kunstenfestivaldesarts.
UNTITLED (2014) was a solo creation for the Spanish dancer and performer Marc Iglesias. ISOS (2015), is a 3D video-installation based on the world and characters of J.G. Ballard, was presented at the International Film Festival Rotterdam 2016. IN VOID (2016), an installation circuit about human absence, premiered in the Kaaistudio’s. A symposium on the artistic practice of Kris Verdonck was organised in the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center (City University of New York). In BOSCH BEACH (2016), he directed an opera based on a libretto by Dimitri Verhulst and composed by Vasco Mendonça.
In 2017, ICK Amsterdam recreated and toured I/II/III/IIII. In September 2017, he made Conversations (at the end of the world) with actors Johan Leysen, Jan Steen, Jeroen Van der Ven, José Kuijpers and pianist Marino Formenti.
In April 2019, the new installation DETAIL was presented at BOZAR. The performance SOMETHING (out of nothing) premiered at Kunstenfestivaldesarts 2019. In this choreographic work, four dancers share the stage with noise cello player Leila Bordreuil. Parallel to the stage work, the installation circuit BOGUS I-III was presented at KANAL - Centre Pompidou.
In 2020 Verdonck collaborates again with Johan Leysen in a second co-production with Het Zuidelijk Toneel: ACT. ACT focusses on the work of Samuel Beckett and continues Verdonck’s interest in a state of being between object and subject and between absence and presence.