18 — 21.05.2023

Kate McIntosh Brussels

Lake Life

performance — premiere


Please confirm your attendance with a wheelchair during online reservation or through box officeAccessible for wheelchair users | French, Dutch, English | ⧖ ±1h30 | €14 / €11 | For all ages from 10 years old | The performance is participative, with light physical contact | Choose your preferred language when buying your ticket

For the first time, the festival commissioned a project for a mixed audience of young people and adults, inviting artist Kate McIntosh to create a new universe to be experienced. In this collaboration with BRONKS, McIntosh and scenographer Nadia Lauro craft an immersive landscape that offers fresh ways of seeing and being together. How changeable and fluid are we? How do we tangle with each other and the world? Lake Life is a collaborative game, a puzzle, and a celebration – step in with two feet and maybe leave with three. The game is transformative, imaginary and real. The audience is invited to explore unprecedented spaces, a dreamlike world of imaginary bodies and self-transformation, where altered senses become palpable and the boundaries of identity are fluid. While the socio-physical fragility created by the pandemic may be experienced differently by young and old, the (re)discovery of trust, fun, and free imagination is a collective concern. How can we break free from the roles we’re expected to play in the outside world? What connects us all? Perhaps it’s the possibility of imagining a new world where we can reinvent our ways from scratch…

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Lake Life

When kunstenfestivaldesarts asked me to make a work for young audiences, I remembered how the interactive pieces Worktable and In Many Hands, which we’d made entirely for adult audiences, became so much better when young people joined too. I knew I wanted to make a place for audiences of mixed-ages to spend time together, and especially with people they don’t know.

Early in the process we learned about the story of the Changelings – it’s such a beautiful mirror for how Humans might enjoy transformation, or reject it. How they might enjoy Otherness in themselves and in each other, or reject it. We wrote our own Changeling story to celebrate their heroic skills of curiosity, empathy and imagination – which seem pretty Human to me too [Changelings are characters from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine – ed].

On the subject of transformation, young people and teenagers sometimes get described as being in a liminal state of not-yet fully human (i.e. adult) but I think figuring out how to be human is more of a lifelong process regardless of age.

A couple of weeks before premiere, this conversation between Camila Marambio and Cecilia Vicuña found its way to me:

Camila Marambio – So, my question is: how can we loosen this stiffness before it kills us?
Cecilia Vicuña: I think it is through finding a way to sort of dissolve… I vacate any definition of humanness that I’m acquainted with. And in that moment, I think I become transparent. I have done exercises where I am able to become invisible… When I first learned this, I was still a teenager, when I learnt to rob the books in a bookstore in front of the eyes of the bookstore owner… It is the practice of becoming so fluid, liquid in state. (Extract from the book Slow Down Fast, A Toda Raja, Errant Bodies Press, 2019)

  • Kate McIntosh
  • April 2023

Presentation: Kunstenfestivaldesarts, BRONKS
A project by: Kate McIntosh in collaboration with Arantxa Martinez | Visual installation: Nadia Lauro | Sound: Eric Desjeux | Light design: Eduardo Abdala | Artistic advice: Harun Morrison, Sarah Parolin, Tim Etchells | Sound research: Charo Calvo | Technical direction: Koen De Saeger in collaboration with Tatiana Carret | Studio assistance: Maria O’Herce, Ashley Van Pouke | Drawings: Dari Gatti | Cards: Marzia Dalfini | Harness: Karolien Nuyttens | General management: Sarah Parolin | Production management: Niamh Moroney | Administration: Laura Deschepper, Elie Agniel
Commissioned and produced by Kunstenfestivaldesarts
Production: SPIN, Backbone Berlin GbR | Coproduction: BRONKS, Kaaitheater, Kunstencentrum VIERNULVIER, PACT Zollverein, Festival d’Automne à Paris, T2G Théâtre de Gennevilliers Centre Dramatique National, MDT, SPRING Performing Arts Festival, BIT Teatergarasjen, SCHÄXPIR Festival, figuren.theater.festival, Teatro Municipal do Porto
Residency: KWP Kunstenwerkplaats
Funded by the Flemish Community Commission (VGC)
Thanks to: Hans Bryssinck, Diederik Peeters, Laura Deschepper, Anna Rispoli, Marnie Slater, Tim Etchells, Caroline Daish, Britt Hatzius, Sheena McGrandles, Barbara Greiner, Frida Laux
Special thanks to: all the volunteer audiences who helped us in the process, and Sabine Zahn & Joshua Rutter for loaning the practice Ghost Head from the Unwritten Library

→ see also: Bring your kids
website by lvh