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20 Feb 2013

The Brussels performance art biennale: PERFORMATIK2013

©Sarah Van Lamsweerde



22/2 > 2/03/2013 in Brussels More than 30 artists meet to cross borders between the visual and performing arts

Katleen Van Langendonck

Sainctelettesquare 20
1000 Brussels

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The new edition of Performatik, the Brussels performance art biennale, once again explores the cross-pollination between the worlds of arts and the performing arts.Performers quit the theatre for galleries and exhibition spaces, while visual artists venture into the theatre. The starting point and core of PERFORMATIK2013 are encounters between artists from the performing arts and the visual arts, taking the time to explore each other’s worlds and arrive at something new together.

Bodies are increasingly finding their way into museums. Not only the walking bodies of the visitors, but also those of dancers and choreographers. Last summer The Tanks: Art in Action opened at Tate Modern in London. The MoMa in New York has already incorporated performance art into its main programme since 2008. An extremely interesting development, with a number of underlying pitfalls. Is it possible for performance art to retain its critical, provocative stance in the major institutions? Do the museums and their visitors see in it anything more than a spectacle or a happening? How can one preserve the live event? Dance critic Pieter T'Jonck talks about it with Jenny Schlenzka, associate curator Moma PS1 New York, and Ann Demeester, director of De Appel, arts centre in Amsterdam during the opening debate (22 February, 7 pm).

In the course of PERFORMATIK2013, visual artist and Turner Prize-winner Martin Creed ventures into the Kaaitheater to present us with his view on classical ballet. The graphic-novel duo Hippolyte Hentgen sets to work in the Beursschouwburg theatre.
Choreographer Boris Charmatz’s Musée de la danse is setting up an exhibition in movement at Argos. A small group of curators select visual work, which is exhibited in constantly changing arrangements by a group of performers. Choreographers Meg Stuart and Philipp Gehmacher meet Vladimir Miller in the ‘white cube’ of the CENTRALE for contemporary art.

Choreographers and visual artists work together: Maria Hassabi meets Jimmy Robert, Vincent Dunoyer meets Berlinde de Bruyckere (Venice Biennale 2013), Trajal Harrell meets Sarah Sze (Venice Biennale 2013).
Theo Cowley is mounting an ‘exhibition of walks’ in a shopping gallery (progr. WIELS & Kaaitheater), Chloé Dierckx aims to create an air bubble (progr. CC Strombeek) while Alexander-Maximilian Giesche & Lea Letzel mix performance and video.

The act of drawing runs like a thread throughout the festival, such as in the sound performances staged in Q-O2 (Drawing Music, with Franziska Windisch, Hallveig Agustsdottir & Frederik Croene and Jeroen Uyttendaele & Dewi de Vree). Bernard Van Eeghem paints and tells anecdotes during his performance at Bozar. Language remains an important element, for example in the work of Orla Barry (Mountain, an exhibition with performances at Bozar) and Philipp Gehmacher (solo with Jack, at the Kaaistudio’s). Zhana Ivanova, Meggy Rustamova and Kaaitheater artist-in-residence Ivo Dimchev are looking for a new relationship with the spectator/participant at the Kaaistudio’s and Kaaitheater respectively.

PERFORMATIK2013 presents 6 new creations.

Exhibition and performance merge together more than ever, in formats which on average last half an hour. So the audience can combine to their heart’s content, sampling the rich spectrum that is performance today.

We look forward to welcoming you during PERFORMATIK2013!

For more information on the artists and programme check or leaf through the Performatik brochure at

With work from Meg Stuart, Philipp Gehmacher & Vladimir Miller | Martin Creed | Musée de la Danse | Trajal Harrell & Sarah Sze | Maria Hassabi & Jimmy Robert | Ivo Dimchev | Vincent Dunoyer & Berlinde De Bruyckere | Meggy Rustamova | Alexander-Maximilian Giesche & Lea Letzel | Zhana Ivanova | Hippolyte Hentgen + John Wood & Paul Harrison + Clédat & Petitpierre | Theo Cowley | Chloé Dierckx | Orla Barry | Bernard Van Eeghem | Angel Vergara, Philippe Vandenberg, Mohammed Targa, Tom Woestenborghs | Sarah van Lamsweerde| Franziska Windisch + Hallveig Agustsdottir & Frederik Croene + Jeroen Uyttendaele & Dewi de Vree

a Kaaitheater festival in association with
Argos Centre for Art & Media, Beursschouwburg, Bozar, CC Strombeek, CENTRALE for contemporary art, Q-O2 & Wiels Contemporary Art Centre