Jacqueline Van de Geer on Performance, Public Art and Going with the Flow

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Questions: Anastasia Prokopi Taki

How did the theme of your participation in this year’s Xarkis Festival come about?

I was pleasantly surprised with the theme of this year’s festival because it alligned so much with the current development in my artist practice! I lately created inter active performances, in which I research the ’embodiement’ of objects: discovering their emotional value, researching their place in history, either personal or on a more global level and even more of importance for me, the collective story behind objects, pictures, maps.

I am looking forward to continue this process in Cyprus!

How does the prospect of public participation in the performance you are proposing incentivise yourself and your work? How may the dynamics of the end result vary?

In my work I love to collaborate with the public: I love it when they become active participants and I find it enriching how the input of my audience can influence the performance.

In this process, an end result which is defined beforehand does not exist, I am totally trusting the process of communication, inviting playfulness and active listening is key to make things

happen. To be able to research and exchange stories relating to objects with the villagers will be so exiting and enriching for me!

I am curious how my objects and stories will intervene with the villagers objects and stories, trusting that where ever we are on this planet, communal themes can be shared, histories can be exchanged and voices can be listened too.

You mention that the three thematic axes of the workshop centre on authentic movement, automatic writing and improvisation. In all of this I find one common denominator: impulse. What values – social, humanitarian, ecological – do you think have changed in our times and which ones you want to bring back through your work?

Some questions to digest: How do we, as artists, change our relationship to our fear of mistakes and failure? Can we create a space where we allow for questioning, reflecting and discovering?

We live in interesting times I find, in which we often forget the value of following impulse, going into a flow, honor the value of non linear thinking, inviting impulses. We have become, even as artists, quite ‘heady’, we often operate rational and strategic to develop our work. Which in itselve is not a bad thing, just a bit ‘one -sided’. We do lots of our work on computers and phones, online and therfore miss sometimes the sensorial experience of creating, playing, discovering, flow… Again: nothing wrong with that of course, I just feel that we need to explore both sides of our brain and beings: for me in this workshop, it is important to give my participants an experience of not knowing where to go, a chance to not manipulating an idea before it is ‘out there’ and especially I onvite them to allow themselves to be truely playful without the inner critic at work!

Allowing yourself to make ‘mistakes’, inviting possible ‘failure’ and doing things without being focused on a certain result or outcome will invite a flow, joy and another look on what is ‘effective’. We can discover change, adventure, rebellion.



Jaqueline will be holding a workshop and performing on Saturday the 17th of August – Filling in the blanks 

Workshop 11:00 – 13:00

This workshop explores strategies to create solo performative work, including authentic movement, automatic writing and improvisation.

Performance 14:30 – 16:30

A table, chairs, old pictures, a doll, postcards from ex-colonies of the Netherlands, a table-cloth from my grandmother, a map of Europe, a children’s book, souvenirs and a komboloi. We meet. I share stories from myself and the villagers, unveiling how time changes and the changed times urges us to transform the Borders of topics like immigration, borders, cultural changes and emancipation. What we would love to reset if we would have that power?

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