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March 28th – April 2nd, 2017 / Cinema Muzeul Țăranului & Cinema Elvire Popesco / the 7th edition


Directed by: 
Cinema Elvire Popesco - Wednesday, March 29, 2017 - 18:00
Cinema Muzeul Țăranului - Thursday, March 30, 2017 - 20:30
Karel van Laere (Performer), Iain Hoeffnagel, Peter Hendrikx, John de Weerd, Joerie Widdershoven, Dominique van Loosdrecht (Surveillance)
Mink Pinster
Mink Pinster
Mink Pinster
Charlotte Sickler
Romanian Premiere
Lie on your back, arms along sides and pretend you cannot move from neck down. Does it get uncomfortable? Would you like a pillow? Do you have an itching nose?  You'll have to wait until someone comes along. Does it feel like you've already waited for hours? (There haven't been more than 5 minutes). Welcome to the world of the quadriplegic. With Paralysis, visual artist Karel van Laere submits himself to such an experiment and documents his (physically) painful and (mentally) disturbing 24-hours journey to the world of the paralysed. The outcome is a powerful statement about the multivalence of the human body, at the same time fragile and enduring, and capable of telling stories not only when in motion, but also at a standstill. (Adina Marin, BIEFF 2017)

Karel van Laere

Karel van Laere (b. 1988) makes both video art and live performances. His work dwells on the central theme of human movement as opposed to mechanical motion, and on the helplessness of the human body. His video artwork Impact won the First Prize at the Taoyuan Contemporary Art Award in Taiwan in 2013, and in 2014 he received the Piket Art Prize for young artists in the Drama category. After graduating as a performer at the Maastricht Theatre Academy in 2012, Van Laere continued his education at the Taipei National University of the Arts in Taiwan. Currently he works from his studio in The Hague on several new video works and live performances.

Festivals, awards: 
  • Forum on the Rights of Disabled Performance, Taiwan 2017
  • Cinedans - Dance on Screen Festival Amsterdam 2016
  • CaDance Festival Korzo The Hague 2017
  • Contemporary Dance & Performance Festival Why Not Amsterdam 2016
  • International New Media Arts Festival Longli, China 2016
Director's statement:
When I started my preliminary research for Paralysis, I was planning interviews with people who live with paralysis. To prepare for these talks, and to understand what these people really go through, I wanted to experience myself what it means not to be able to move from neck to toe, and what it is like to need constant care. Screwing my clothes with bolts onto a table, I could not move. I was determined to remain in this position for 24 hours. It is bizarre how fast your body tells you: this is not normal, stop! My heart had to work really hard to pump all the blood around. At first, the pain was something mental. When I put my mind to something else, time went faster and I felt less pain. But the longer I was on the table, the harder it was to focus on other things, and the more the pain started to gain control. I absolutely did not experience what it is like to be paralyzed. But thanks to this research, I came across questions I would never have thought of behind my computer. (Karel van Laere)