Liesje De Laet
Wellness Centre Future Proof
Atmospheric Measurement Program
Project Der Dingen
My work develops from a fundamental fascination with invisible belief and knowledge systems. Especially phenomena concerning intangible relationships, energy flows, spiritual animism. ‘The invisible’ is also inextricably linked to ‘shadow worlds’ in which, for example, power structures and conspiracy theories conceal themselves. The knowledge systems and conceptual frameworks of these immaterial but sensitive world(s) are dissected and digested. Together this forms the starting point for a non-anthropocentric world-view contemplating and speculating on current affairs such as climate change, and the effects of late capitalism. The generated information feeds back into the site specific [local] context in which the artistic work takes place. Thus creating an own belief system which develops from associative and symbolic reflections to a larger narrative.
The works can be seen as ‘analogue hacks’: disguised as a shaman, cook or manager the “naturalness” of the surrounding world [context] is unravelled, thus showing a multitude of parallel realities, a polyphonic sur-reality. By doing so I test the elasticity of the concept ‘artist’. Whilst consciously navigating between both the artistic and non-artistic field, being an artist becomes a role-play too: I appropriate marketing strategies and production ideals in a game of copy-paste identities and bodies. Critical reflection forms the connecting core on which my practice is built. It is a quest for co-authorship, polyphonic practices and the development of collective identities.
My practice is a networked whole where an 'individual work' functions as a meaning-making actor rather than as an autonomous product. Each piece assumes different ‘applicable’ qualities and each time they come into contact with (a) public they are charged with meaning. On a formal level this means they have a shape-shifting appearance. When they do take shape for a certain occasion in time-space, they are "published" as texts, speeches, performative rituals or audio-guides but also the development of corporate identities, semi-fictive archives, artefacts and documentation or the creation of multiples and products that are subject to a self-faded logic. Sometimes even a title, word, label or description can get the status of 'individual/autonomous work/actor'.
A work can be used in different situations and add - like a spell - different intentions or (layers of) meaning(s) to it. Sometimes this appears even as if the work has its own conscious mind from which it is operating.
Performativity, bodywork, ‘treatments’ and storytelling are combined with different scenographies, constellations and dialogues between the object-subjects. They are in a constant co-creation with the audience: the attention and imaginative power that lies in the eye of the beholder is essential for the completion of a story which thereby becomes a life-affirming practice on the edge of reality and fiction.
The Garland Strategy