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Reading Hans Stevens at Park
Reading Hans stevens' texts at PARK Tilburg 13.05.2018 from 10 am till 18 pm image Rob Moonen
While slowly rotating around my centre in the middle of the PARK room, I vocalize a selection of texts by Tilburg artist and thinker Hans Stevens, who died five years ago.
Next tot their content and form, Hans' texts are interesting for me as an artist because of their absolute autonomy: His writings were never published and he never mentioned them as philsophy, literature or poetry.
I see his texts as a sort of language-visual thinking about all sort of aspects of live, especially about its representation and translation.
In my own work I question myself about this concept of autonomy: where do my works belong? For whom should they exist? What is the relation to an audience? What is success?
Although it was Hans himself who gave me permission to publicly vocalize his texts, I could look at is as undermining his free thinking, his pleading for keeping all possibillities open, as summarized in his concept of AND: 'not the one OR the other, but the one AND the other is possible'.
In spite of Hans' ideas about autonomy, this reading is my own attempt to give space and time to his timeless and spaceless word-constructions, by vocalizing them for a day in the empty acoustic PARK hall, making the words literally dissolving into endless abstract sounds.
I am working on a renewed version of this group-performance which took place in Stichting Ennu, now PARK, in former Maria Goretti chapel in Tilburg in 1984.
This new version, that I am testing now in cooperation with Oda Buijs and theatre students, is based on a text describing the sound of a passing airplane, to be vocalized by a group of performers while moving from one side to the other side of the space.
Every now and then, I briefly describe the bodily positions Jo and I are lying in after we have woken up in the morning. Still half asleep I attempt to fathom our positions in relation to one another and in relation to gravity, and store this in my memory. A selection of those descriptions is brought together in the book Liggen/Lying, to be published at Onomatopee Eindhoven in the next months. The texts are edited by Kathrin Wolkowicz with an extra eye by Guus Vreeburg, translated to English by Rosie Heinrich and grahically designed by Koos Siep.
I am about to finish the book Movements, a collection of brief descriptions of my works since 1979. In the descriptions I concentrate on the actual movements by leaving out all other information, resulting in short stories about physical and sensory formal meetings with time and space. Dick van Teylingen assisted me in writing those 120 texts thanks to an O&O-subsidy from Rotterdam Visual Arts Council. The book, edited by Kathrin Wolkowicz, will be published by Onomatopee later this year.
Movement sequences/Photo sequences
In the period of 1980 - 1990 my friend and photographer Henk Geraedts documented my performances by step by step capturing my movements, often in relation to architecture and the gradual change of light. We choose twelve black and white-sequences to appear in a book, together with brief information about the works, translated to English by Johanna Monk. With special thanks to Corrie Brands and Chris den Boer for their practical help.