During the CAMPSITE Festival at TENT, TimeWindow artists reside on location. They take an existing work with them, with the intention of creating something new through coexistence with other makers. Of course, this also attracts an audience, so we are on site to see how that goes. Does coexisting with the audience also create something new? What does the audience add as the final part of an artwork?
This is a preliminary discussion with Rosa Vrij and borus.fuckyea about their audience, before our reviewer will rate it. After the review is written, there will also be a post-discussion with the creators.
The exhibition can be seen during TENT’s opening hours until 10 April. The performance still plays on 8, 9 and 10 April at 13:30. Reservations can be made by sending your name and date to firstname.lastname@example.org
What are you showing in TENT?
Borus: “I present Death Drive, an illustration of mine that has been extremely enlarged, printed and pasted on the wall, floor and ceiling. I want to research whether the largeness of this work provokes people to experience my work in a different way. The idea is that you can stand in the work, dive into it completely. When I am drawing, I see it as big as this front of me. Others only see a small drawing on an A4 sheet. So this is also new for me, to see it so big in front of me in the space, instead of just in my head.”
Rosa: “My work house is a performative book presentation. Maybe book presentation is not the right word, because that is a passive activity. The book stems from an artistic as well as personal research I have been doing since 2018, together with my partner Ben. We started an exchange with each other about how we relate to our home, looking for an intermediate form between our disciplines: performance and architecture. It’s about taking and giving space, and the relationship between yourself and the space, and the others in the space.
I want to use this way of presenting the book, which may be very conceptual in some aspects, to make it tangible. People do assignments in small groups and have topical conversations. I do a meditative guidance to get everyone in the here and now with full concentration.”
Borus: “What brings the two works together is that we both have an intimate relationship to paper and its qualities. We also try to convey something personal to the audience through that paper.”
During the making process, did you consider any possible audience reactions?
Borus: “Absolutely! I want an experience like Rothko’s: his paintings are big and overwhelming and the idea is to take your time to really let it sink in. You get to come closer to my work, take a closer look at all the lines and imperfections. In my case, you also get to stand in and on the paper. I did my best to invite people to do that.”
Rosa: “Not during the research of the last few years, that was very internal for us. For this version of the performative book presentation, it does revolve all around dramaturgy, because it is very interactive. Of course, you never know how people will react, but I’ve been thinking a lot about what I want them to experience, and what I think they need for that. I have to think about how I introduce everything. Above all, you have to find a balance between rules and freedom. For instance, I work with time codes, because I have found that they create calmness. People get nervous if they don’t know how long they have to do something. I try to remove all noise and distractions so that you can participate with full dedication.”
What do you hope to achieve with audiences?
Rosa: “I want people to start relating themselves to the subject. That a new layer is added with each assignment, as layered as the book. By the way, full dedication can also be something subtle, just a concentration. Ideally, of course, I want people to leave and look differently at the space and at themselves.”
Borus: “Death Drive is a memento mori. That may sound heavy, and the illustration may look intense, but the message is positive: live your life before it’s too late. I think that’s the Drive, that you feel you have to do what you want now, because when you’re dead, it won’t be possible. I hope people recognise something in the image. While residing here, someone also came in and said ‘Hey, this is the inside of my head when I wake up in the morning!’ Ideally, after that moment of recognition, you walk away with motivation to do something you’ve always wanted to do.”
What reaction or behaviour from the audience would let you down?
Borus: “It’s still possible that people see it, think ‘Okay, that’s intense’, and quickly move on. I hope they don’t see only the dark and not the beauty. The idea is that by realising death, you can appreciate life more.”
Rosa: “For me, the collaboration is the part I wonder most about how it will play out. During some performances, Borus also joins in. The idea is that we will make drawings while people are busy, that we will react to each other like Ben and I did. I’m a bit worried that it will be too distracting, though. I’d rather people get into a bubble with their group.”
What do you think the audience adds to your work and to the collaboration?
Borus: “I hope that people stay in that meditative state after the performance, and can look at my work with that energy. That you will experience my work with the same curious mindset. I’m excited to see what kind of reactions will come from that.”
Rosa: “My work is already finished, except that technically the book is not quite finished. Now it’s kind of exciting to do something new with it. I will definitely take something from this collaboration and what happens this weekend. It will be different every time, it just depends on how the audience reacts.”