漢字

LEAF

Reach

Reach

Reach

2022, The Netherlands
REACH I

A recurring theme in van Karel van Laere’s work is the antagonism between the human body and technological systems. Between 2021 and 2022 he shifted his gaze to the inside of the body using surgical tools. The vulnerability of the internal body usually shows its beauty in sterile operating rooms where surgeons deftly perform meticulous operations with laparoscopic instruments. Fascinated by its fragility, Van Laere explored the inside of the body and the artistic possibilities of laparoscopic instruments in a series of new works among which the performance Reach.

In November 2022 he was invited to witness a surgical operation taking place at St. Antonius hospital in Nieuwegein, The Netherlands. Seeing the surgeons at work, feeling the tension of a full six hours surgery (including the removal of 10 cm of colon, happening in front of his eyes) was one of the most intriguing things he had ever witnessed.

In his studio Van Laere started training with laparoscopic instruments using a laparoscopy training boxx. In an attempt at transposing the surgical procedures outside of the OR he found what he was looking for when he started working with sound cables that were cut open and that could be connected to the instruments. With musical sounds coming from nine different speakers, he found a way to take over the space he was working in. The first concept version of the project Reach was created during a three month residency in The Grey Space in the Middle where the work was shown during van Laere’s first solo exhibition. 

picture 1-4 by Gordon Meuleman

REACH II

Cinedans opening ceremony, EYE Filmmuseum, Amsterdam

The starting point for the performance Reach is his fascination for laparoscopic instruments which are used in surgery. To him, dissecting delicate objects with these instruments is an intimate and fragile process that conceals beauty as well as vulnerability. In Reach II, Karel enters into a dialogue with sound and experimental hip hop dancer Simon Bus.

picture 4-8 by Gordon Meuleman

  • Performed and conceived by Karel van Laere
  • Laparoscopic co-workers Zahira Suliman, Ben Terwel, Mayke van Kruchten
  • Dancer Simon Bus
  • Sound design Mathijs van Til
  • Coaching Frank Koolen
  • Inspired by conversations with surgeon: Anke Smits & Guus Bökkerink
  • Technical production Vincent Krouwer
  • Production The Grey Space in the Middle and Stichting Largo
  • Made possible by: The City of The Hague, Stroom Den Haag, Mondriaan Fonds, Amarte Fonds, the In Art We Trust Fund (by We Are Public) and Laparoscopyboxx (a brand of Outside the Boxx).
  • Special thanks: FlexDex Surgical, Hubert Prins, Susan de Bruin, Tim Terpstra, Marijke Cobbenhagen, Ramses Nieuwenhuizen, Martine Dekker, Yola Parie, Andreas Hannes, Lieneke Hulshof, Talitha Stijnman, Peter Hendrikx, Nora Duijf, Elien Phernambucq, Alex Heuvink, Peter van Til, Frank Wienk, Djurre en Chuckie, Sarah de Bruin.