Gwendoline Robin

    06/09  | 16:00

It’s not exactly clear how fireworks were discovered, but it’s likely that they originated in China or in the part of the world where Bangladesh is today. The Chinese used gunpowder – the basis of fireworks – as a weapon, but also to enhance the splendour of religious feasts and rituals. Gwendoline Robin is a Brussels-based artist who has already presented sculptural performances at the Kunstenfestivaldesarts in which her body was connected to the four elements. She is currently devising a new creation offering pyrotechnic interventions in a public space with a group of young people from Schaerbeek. They have joined forces to build fun machines out of paper, plastic and metal, surprising residents with poetic gestures in different places in Schaerbeek. Together they are affirming that after lockdown, these spaces don’t just have a logic of economics and efficiency, but also have an aesthetic and political place in our lives. A place of encounter and wonder where different voices can express themselves and where unexpected gestures are welcomed with curiosity.

For more than twenty years, the Belgian visual artist and performer Gwendoline Robin has been working with elemental material (fire, sand, water, clay, ice and glass) and orchestrating their metamorphoses in the form of installations, performances and videos. Her work has been performed at international festivals in Europe, America, Australia and Asia since 2005, while some of her installations/performances have also been presented at exhibitions in arts centres in Belgium, Canada and France.

Her various collaborations (with Ida De Vos on movement and Simon Siegmann on stage design) have encouraged her to develop her own performative vocabulary in structures that are more open to multidisciplinarity, and to think of spaces as active devices shared by the performer and the audience. 

Since 2016, she has been linking scientific research to plastic research, specifically on the relationship between earth, water and the universe. She created the performances Cratère 6899 (May 2016) and AGUA (May 2018, in collaboration with Simon Siegmann and Ida De Vos) for the Kunstenfestivaldesarts. In November 2019, she presented the exhibition Sous les lunes de Jupiter at Micro-Onde – Centre d’art contemporain de l’Onde in Vélizy, France. The installation evolves with each performance the artist gives and with the internal processes involved in the works. 

In July 2017, in collaboration with the French choreographer Gaëlle Bourges, she created the duet Incidence 1327 at “Sujets à Vif” during the Festival d’Avignon. 

Gwendoline Robin also teaches. Her artistic work has been supported by Grand Studio since 2012 and by Wallonia-Brussels International.

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