18/05  | 20:30
    19/05  | 20:30
    20/05  | 18:00

€ 16 / € 13 (-25/65+)
1h 20min

Standing / no seats
Meet the artist after the performance on 19/05

Gwendoline Robin’s sculptural performances connect the body with the natural elements: fire, earth, water, and air. In her new creation, A.G.U.A., together with dancer Louise Vanneste, she activates various installations, composed around a large surface of water. The sterile landscape is disrupted by fleeting human actions and natural reactions. Sound, movement, and matter awaken a series of tableaux – quivering, seething, or explosive. Robin associates art with science and explores the physical state of matter and material. Her interventions carry in themselves a renewed relationship between man and environment, although the threat of polluting beauty and irreparable mutation is never far away...

Concept, direction & choreography
Gwendoline Robin

Choreographic & dramaturgic assistance
Ida De Vos

Artistic support & light creation
Simon Siegmann

Gwendoline Robin & Louise Vanneste

Vocal researches
Kadi Abdelmalek

Scientific collaboration
Hervé Caps

Sylvestre Gobart

Jorge de la Torre

Kunstenfestivaldesarts, Les Halles de Schaerbeek

Kunstenfestivaldesarts, S.T. 10-13

Associated production
Entropie Production

Accompagnied by
Grand Studio

FAR° Festival des Arts Vivants, Les Halles de Schaerbeek, Le Vivat Scène conventionnée d’Armentières, NEXT vzw, Théâtre de Liège dans le cadre du Festival Impact, La Coop asbl

Grand Luxe Ballet de l’Opéra national du Rhin, Kunstencentrum BUDA, La Bellone – Maison du Spectacle, Université de Liège

With the support of
Cocof – Scènes Chorégraphique, Commission Interdisciplinaire Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles, Shelterprod, Taxshetler.be, ING & Taxshelter of the Belgian Federal Government

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The Brussels-based visual and performance artist Gwendoline Robin has developed an international reputation with work that explores the relationship between humanity and nature. Her new creation A.G.U.A. confronts the elements head-on.

Gwendoline Robin In the visual arts, you rarely see the artists themselves in the process of creating their works. I thought it would be interesting to show this aspect as well. That is how I came to combine performance in my work. The audience becomes an active witness.  

Your work is at the intersection of the sculptural and the performative, the poetic and the scientific. You do not shy away from some literal fireworks.
I have always loved working with materials that you cannot completely control. The performances are often related to natural elements like water, fire, or earth. Volcanoes, geysers, the desert: these are all sources of inspiration. The humble position of human beings in the face of these strong elements is the leitmotif of these performances. 

A number of journeys also played a role in the creation of A.G.U.A.
Crossing the Atacama Desert in Chile, one of the driest places in the world, it inspired me to use the image of a huge plain where water is very scarce and valuable. There is also an interesting film about the Atacama Desert, Nostalgia de la luz, by Patricio Guzmán. It links the desert to stardust and the comets in the cosmos that leave their traces on earth. While at a festival in Punta Arenas in Patagonia, I also became fascinated by the stories of the disappeared indigenous people, whose rituals and songs still attest to a relationship with nature that was about harmonious coexistence. 

Voices add an extra layer to the performance, which also features the dancer Louise Vanneste. GR We are not singers, so our sounds are more like a vague memory of the songs of the old tribes. Louise’s presence helps to make you feel the loneliness of the great plains.  

Finally, there is also a subtle link to science because the Festival de Liège put Robin in touch with professors of oceanology and astronomy who provided her with instruments and techniques.  

(MB, Bruzz)

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After training in visual art, Gwendoline Robin has spent the past twenty years developing work that is a combination of installation and performance, making use of her body and putting it in danger. She confronts the elements of fire and explosives, as well as glass, clay and now water, in the course of ephemeral activities that appear to make time and space more dense. She has presented her performances at international performance and dance festivals in Europe, Canada, Chile, Australia and Asia since 2005. As associate artist at the Halles de Schaerbeek in 2007, she encountered Ida De Vos during the Dimanches de la Danse and since 2009 has involved Ida in her research on movement and shifting in space. She has produced several collaborations with artists from other disciplines, including Garrett List (music), Karin Vyncke, Pierre Droulers and Boris Charmatz (dance), and now the choreographer Louise Vanneste. During these collaborations, the desire to weave her performative vocabulary into a more dramaturgical structure is evident. In 2013, she formed a team with dancer Ida De Vos, visual artist and stage and lighting designer Simon Siegmann and sound creator Olivier Renouf in order to examine the questions in her research in greater depth, leading to the performance J’ai toujours voulu rencontrer un volcan which was staged at Tour&Taxis during the Kunstenfestivaldesarts in 2014. A landscape marked little by little by events of almost telluric power: a journey in which the space shared by the artist and the audience opens and closes under the pressure of bodies, materials, sound and light. In May 2016 at Les Brigittines during the Kunstenfestivaldesarts, Gwendoline Robin presented the performance Cratère n°6899, the first part of her latest project A.G.U.A. This project is designed to include scientific research in her research into art and movement, more specifically into the relationship between the earth, water and the universe. In July 2017, in collaboration with the French choreographer Gaëlle Bourges, Gwendoline Robin created and presented the duet Incidence 1327 at Sujets à Vif during the Festival d’Avignon. Gwendoline Robin teaches at the Académie des Beaux-arts in Tournai, and at ESA Le 75 and La Cambre in Brussels.

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