Culture & Art

Benny Claessens/ CAMPO // Hello useless-for W and friends

While the spectators take their place, the artist moves around confidently and casually as if he were alone in a private space. Suddenly he starts talking to the audience, spontaneously and funnily, about the concept, the phases of the performance and the set design describing the present objects and the reason why he choose them.

The performance goes on or as he says, starts, but maybe it has already started, he has an attitude of foolishly playing around, as if to entertain himself despite the fact that he is on stage. His way of moving is hilarious, sometimes clumsy, others light and cheery as he would be playing with his own fantasies.

The big installation in the naked stage shows the word JOY in big and sparkly characters, a sculpture made by Bert Neumann to whom the performance is also dedicated. The fact that the artist plays with it, making it move and shine and staring at it. In a sort of contemplation, it makes one think how the concept itself is extremely complex. Its inner reason tends to be part of vitality and natural cheerfulness but it brings one to wonder about the whole idea of it. In many cases forgotten, incapable to remember or to reach.

Ironic and incongruous gestures, goofy and short movements, poses are added to sarcastic and self-sardonic phrases, and gibberish sounds leaving the spectators disconcerted and entertained at the same time. He moves constantly, agitated, unsettled, clumsy, searching for a different position and appearing not really sure about the next moves.

The bewilderment is caused by the unpredictability of the artist; sometimes he laughs within himself, some others seems close to crying, other tired and bored on stage trying new steps and then, starting to run with all his force, he starts shouting towards the audience asking to be joined in the compulsive run on stage.

Hilarious and intriguing, amusing but also enigmatic and cogitative, is an honest and intimate piece that allows one to feel and reflect on established patterns and the given expectations.

Engaging with the performer, a sort of empathetic and nonsensical journey happens to stimulate reflections on the given suggestion. Returning to the basics and abandoning any kind of criticism, denouncing and affirming.

Hilarious, emotional, disconcerting, intimate, ‘Hello useless-for W and friends’ is an engaging piece to reflect on nuances and significances of structures and deconstructions, profundity and superficiality, authenticity and dubiety.

About The Author

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Veronica Posth

Veronica Posth studied History of Art at the University of Glasgow (UK) and Florence (IT) specializing in Contemporary Art and Modern Museology. After some years working in a contemporary art gallery in London and collaborating with a creative association promoting Contemporary-Urban Art and Electronic Music in Florence, she gained a Master in Exhibition Design and Curatorial Studies between Florence (IT) and Berlin (DE). She lives and works in Berlin as independent curator and art reviewer. Her main interests are related to contemporary art, dance and music.