“So many cages, so many small theaters, in which each actor is alone, and constantly visible.” Michel Foucault, Surveiller et Punir, 1975.
We met a dancer performing SATURN II in Copenhagen. During the chat we had, she explained us that through his creations, Karl Van Welden questions the relationship of man against the vastness of the universe. He developed a project in 2006 entitled Verenigde Planeten / United Planets which combined architectural forms to still images and slowness of movement. The planets of the solar system formed satellites around the anchor point of the cycle where each represented a series of art projects operating at a performance level.
Karl Van Welden explores new aesthetic intrinsically linked to the selected space between the public who is actively involved in the work. It thus overcomes the conventional relationship between the role of the spectator, the site, the performers and the real world. The performance-installation SATURN reveals the contemporary landscape by playing notions of distance, intimacy, loss, infinity, control and power. SATURN I – The landscape sublimes the grandeur of the nature SATURN II – The cityscape explores the urban landscape. SATURN III – The townscape, created Vitrolles, France, highlights the interstices of a landscape that is both urban and natural.
Eight observation posts perched on a hill or a roof, fragments the environment in images and offer the public benchmarks that allow it to grasp the immensity. Through long lenses or binoculars, the viewer zooms in on the details of the landscape. His eyes are sometimes guided by the presence of isolated silhouettes in the distance, repeating infinitely small movements, our performer was one of them, and she was asked to pose for hours without basically moving. The visitor recreates the intimate perception of the landscape from one point to another according to his own rhythm, sound composition by immersing in a melancholy atmosphere and tension. A deep relationship is established between the observer and the object of the observation.
Concept, design and staging by Karl Van Welden, dramaturgy by Bart Capelle; performers Stefaan Claeys, Sarah Eisa, Michael Helland, Raeymaekers Siet, Kevin and Fran Trappeniers Verstegen, Yannick Franck.