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In a Flickering Light

Monday 19 November 2018, 6 pm

A portrait of “being behind the screen”. A theatre, four actors, light and sound. A performance about the behaviour of the body in the light of our devices. The Dutch artists Sander Breure & Witte van Hulzen offer a reflection on our ‘fluid’ society, in which technology has become a condition for our existence.

The artists began the research for this project two years ago, in dialogue with curator Marta Ramos-Yzquierdo. The main question and starting point was how to think about moving images and its contemporaneity through other media, in this case the medium of performance. They began by observing the audience at LOOP Fair: walking from room to room through the hotel, Breure & Van Hulzen felt as visitors of different dreams, and were reminded of Barthes’ description of the experience of leaving the cinema as “coming out of hypnosis” [1]. That which is on the screen takes place in the head; the body is paralyzed in a chair, couch or bed. With these two keys –dream and face- the performers will execute a choreography of facial expressions, as an archive of posture and movements the artists have studied, focusing on the transformations that the moving images and all the contemporary reincarnations of ‘the screen’ cause in the audience.

The proposal is a continuation of the research Sander Breure & Witte van Hulzen started with their performance how can we know the dancer from the dance?, 2016, in which they made a study of body language in public space. On that occasion the work was based on the observation of the passengers at Utrecht Central Station. Now the public area is not only the LOOP Barcelona venues, but the screen as common space. There are very few people that don’t sit behind a screen at home. Binge watching is normalized behaviour and perhaps a new addiction. The screen as interface to our nowadays relationships with the other and with the world, becomes in this piece both the face and its masks. Then moving image is then the territory where we can think about the neuroplastical effects of the everyday digital world in the ways we grasp reality.

In a Flickering Light will premiere at Macba, Barcelona, curated by Marta Ramos-Yzquierdo as part of the LOOP Festival. One week later it will be launched at Veem House for Performance, during the Amsterdam Art Weekend. It has been possible thanks to the generous support by Mondriaan Fonds and tegenboschvanvreden gallery, Amsterdam.

Supported by Mondriaan Fonds and tegenboschvanvreden gallery, Amsterdam. 

[1] Barthes, Roland, “En sortant du cinema”, Communications, 23, 1975. Psychanalyse et cinéma, sous la direction de Raymond Bellour, Thierry Kuntzel et Christian Metz. pp. 104-107