Artist Page — 2 Sep 2020
In the Presence of Absence, the bi-annual show of proposals for the museum collection, presents 23 artists (collectives). This artist page includes a text on the work and an artist contribution.
Sarah van Lamsweerde (b. 1971) gained her MA in artistic research and performance from DasArts in Amsterdam. Her work has been exhibited in Amsterdam at De Appel and P////AKT Platform for Contemporary Art, and STUK – House for Dance, Image & Sound in Leuven, Belgium. Van Lamsweerde is a member of the interdisciplinary peer groups Tre Tigri and BAU Platform for Dance and Performance in Amsterdam, IM Company in Paris, and Performing Objects (Enough Room for Space) in Brussels. Author, performer, and heritage expert Alicia Hoost (b. 1995) has written for various platforms on her experiences studying, dating, and going out as a person with a vision impairment. Hoost has also participated in various theater productions and performances. Actor Leroy de Böck (b. 1995) has performed in several productions by AchterdebergProducties and the youth theater company DEGASTEN. He is currently studying French. De Böck and Hoost have been working with Van Lamsweerde since 2016.
To relieve your eyes of any stress or strain from what you might see here, I propose a little exercise.
Take off your glasses.
Place one of your hands on one of your eyes. Does the heel of your palm fit into your eye socket?
Feel the weight of your head. Lean your head into your hand. Drop your head slowly forward. Feel the weight of your eyeballs.
Slowly move your hand away from your face but imagine your eyeball is still attached to your hand … The tendons and nerves that connect it to the eye-socket are stretching, the eyeball is heavy in your hand.
Okay, when you’re ready bring your hand back to your eye-socket, lift your head and drop your eyeball back into its place. Breathe in and out.
Now release the hand from your eye just enough to focus on the palm. Imagine an imprint of your eye on it. It’s as if your eye has been transferred to your hand.
Look at the copy of your eye on the palm. Move your hand away slowly, and turn the palm outwards – there’s no need to follow it anymore, you can just close your real eyes entirely. Let the new eye on the palm look at your screen, or around the room.
Then with that new eye try to catch sight of an object. Move your hand towards it, exploring it with the tips of your fingers. Now make full contact, relax your hand and dive into what you see, plunge into this object, travel through it.
When you’ve had a good look inside, release the object. Close your fist.
What do you feel there?
Drop your hand by your side. Open all your eyes slowly. Observe the difference between your old eyes and your new eye.
Perhaps this experience can serve you at a later stage.
Eye Exercise (fragment from performance)
Sightless Seeing #4: Acquisitions (2020)
Text: Sarah van Lamsweerde
Voice: Esther Mugambi
Costume design: Janneke Raaphorst
Hosts: Esther Mugambi and Stephanie Pan
Production assistant: Alina Ozerova