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Théâtre National Wallonie-Bruxelles

Between strength and beauty

Gwendoline Robin

”We don’t dream deeply with objects. To dream deeply, you have to dream with materials.”

Gaston Bachelard, L’Eau et les Rêves (Water and Dreams).

Gwendoline Robin, AGUA (extrait), 2022

March 2022, at the Théâtre National set workshops, something is happening. From an explosion of earth, fire and smoke, a crater is formed. From a line of glasses and kettles, mud stirs and then slowly calms down. A link is created between the place, the sunlight and the hand that disturbs the elements. Earth, water and air. The gesture leads to other combinations. The material is transformed opening onto new landscapes, a new imagination. In a succession of performances, captured and photographed – which animate, transform and reveal materials, light and the body – Gwendoline Robin creates the visual red line of the season.

Invited by the Théâtre National Wallonie-Bruxelles, over three days she will make and remake the same gestures. Chain chemical reactions, explosions; eject smoke and sparks; playing powder and dry ice, her body and the space around it.

Through her play with these the elements, her performative gestures, she underlines her presence and her possibility of letting go. She highlights limits - hers and ours. She offers a time, a poetic experience, to dream of another space, another place, an elsewhere.

This balance between strength and beauty, this imbalance provoked in the viewer, makes Gwendoline Robin’s work the ideal companion for this 2022·2023 season.

For more than twenty years, the Belgian visual artist and performer Gwendoline Robin has been working with elementary materials (fire, sand, water, earth, ice, glass, etc.) to orchestrate their metamorphoses in the form of installations, performances or videos.

She has forged a unique place for herself in the field of contemporary art in Brussels, Belgium and internationally and presents her performances at international performance and dance festivals in Europe, Canada, Chile, Australia and Asia. Through collaborations with Ida De Vos for movement and Simon Siegmann for scenography, the desire to weave this performative vocabulary into a structure more open to multidisciplinarity is increasingly present and encourages one to think of spaces as active devices, shared between the performer and the audience.

© Théâtre National Wallonie-Bruxelles