Just like any other form of transport, the train has altered our perception of distance and space: speed makes distances shorter. Moreover, with the arrival of the Internet, the entire world is just a mouse click away: it comes to us in real time via all sorts of screens. Conversely,
we go out into the world with a screen in our hand to record, adjust and share landscapes,
monuments, and other landmarks. How does that affect our experience of the here and now? Can we still distinguish the ‘real’ world from the virtual one? For Screens, you get on a
train and find yourself in another world: the windows of the carriage turn into high resolution screens showing images created in a model train landscape. As you travel along the Belgian railway network, you feel like you are rolling through toy versions of other landscapes and cities. From the ‘real’ world to an unreal, virtual world. As if you are travelling inside Google
Maps, or in the Caribbean, thanks to a filter on Zoom... Kris Verdonck perfects illusion in this new immersive video installation. When you get on a train in Screens, you sit inside a real carriage and at the same time you are elsewhere. You are ‘real’ in an artificial toy world. Both here, and not here: an ultimate form of being in transit?
The training Kris Verdonck (°1974) followed in the visual arts, architecture and theatre, is reflected in the work he makes. His creations can be situated in the border area between the visual arts and theatre, between installation and performance, between dance and architecture. His theatre and visual arts projects include 5 (2003), Catching Whales Is Easy (2004), and II (2005). Verdonck often combines installations/performances in
the form of VARIATIONS. The development of his oeuvre has been marked by projects such as UNTITLED (2014), a dance solo about a performer who is confined to the theatre, as if by a mechanical construction. His other creations include ISOS (2015) (a nine-part, 3D video installation that takes the apocalyptic science-fiction novels of J.G. Ballard as its starting
point); IN VOID (2016) (an installation circuit about human absence); BOSCH BEACH (2016) (an opera in which the fake paradise of resorts and Hieronymus Bosch’s hell on Earth flow seamlessly into one another); and a large-scale theatre production, Conversations (at the end of the world) (September 2017). SOMETHING (out of nothing) premiered at Kunstenfestivaldesarts in 2019. This performance crosses the boundaries of theatre and museum, in search of human fragility between presence and absence. In parallel to the performance, the installation circuit BOGUS I-III was presented at KANAL – Centre Pompidou.