Karel van Laere is a performance and visual artist from the Netherlands, exploring the vulnerability of the human body in contrast to the machine. His work often begins with sincere questions, such as: What would it be like if, just like a computer, you could switch off your body every now and then? What does it feel like to be dependent on a machine or on others? He then uses these enquiries to reach extreme bodily states, situated firmly within a given space, including using non-presence techniques.
For CTM 2020, Karel van Laere will perform his work "The Non-Present Performer," in which he surrenders his limp, hypnotised body to a choreographer and three dancers. In his words: “the closest to what I was looking for seemed to be anaesthesia or an epidural. So I approached an anaesthesiologist. My idea to do a live performance under anaesthesia proved to be impossible. However, the anaesthesiologist did convince me of the power of hypnosis in this context. The result of all this became a performance in which I, hypnotised, handed over my body to a choreographer and three dancers surrounded by a live audience. I asked the dancers to look for physical borders, to experiment, and to make me the subject of their research as “The Non-Present Performer.”
An artist talk / Q&A with van Laere follows the performance.
Dancers: Jin Young Won, Miguel Toro, and Saul Vega Mendoza
Choreographer: Amos Ben Tal
Hypnotist: Joris Waayer
"The Non-Present Performer" is supported by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
Karel van Laere is a performance and visual artist from The Netherlands, exploring the vulnerability of the human body in contrast to the machine. His work has been performed and exhibited across Europe and East Asia.