Q&A with Karel Tuytschaever

12 April 2021

Karel Tuytschaever talks about V., a solo radio-play experience through the city

What was the inspiration to create V.?

Normally my performance and film STRANGER would be part of the festival. When the festival decided to go fully digital over a month ago, the question was asked to capture and stream STRANGER. I personally didn’t think converting, translating, STRANGER to a “registration” was an inspiring plan. That idea went against the true nature of my work and method. Namely that the form/medium I use comes from meeting the people I work with and what is the clearest way to communicate about what we have researched. STRANGER is a very energetic work created for a live instantaneous collaborative viewing experience. The digital data and screen would therefore not act as a connecting factor here with the spectator – and I always try to work towards that.

Besides, I continued to think about the visibility of a maker in these challenging times. I went back to my core, a practice that takes looking at bodies and physicality and embodiment as its starting point. As a maker, how can I really have contact with my spectator? Then V. was born.

You called V. “a solo radio-play experience through the city”. Could you explain more about it?

In this pandemic period, I noticed for myself how distance and urbanity have a major impact on our physicality. The longing for the other is also big and comes to the forefront of my reality. The image we have in mind of what we think is contact is being refocused or needs to be adjusted. After all this time, how do we view our fellow human beings?

V. is an audio performance (the voice of Ariane van Vliet and myself, in a sound scenery by Diederik de Cock are literally in your ear, we are very close) in which you watch the city through the gaze of a man. He looks for contact through his desire and how he focuses his image on the other. Together with that man you are invited to (re)view your own city with an open gaze.

V. is a first impetus, an invitation, in a longer reciprocal journey. Moving Futures Festival is normally a traveling festival that visits different cities, and I wanted to include that urban diversity in the concept itself. How can the place of viewing influence the imagination – even though everyone is listening to the same audio performance?

How should the audience prepare themselves for V.?

Every spectator receives some sort of guideline with the audio file on how he/she/them can best experience the audio performance. Afterward, I ask them to take a picture, only after they have listened. And share that image. This creates a personal answer, based on my curiosity to see how they view their city. In this way, a web of images from various cities is created, with viewing from the audio play as a common denominator.

The intention is to work on a V. publication after the festival, containing the ‘answers’ of the spectators and the text of V., together with an easy by Anna van der Kruis. This publication in turn gets the listeners back from us – thus creating a unique reciprocal way of working. Being together, across the boundaries of the city or digital spaces. From what binds us: our physical looking.

What are the elements and tools that the audience will play with?

De uitdaging om het oor eens als zintuig te gebruiken om te kijken, naar je medemens, je stad, in tijden van afstand. Maar ook evengoed de dyamiek van de beweging die naar binnen wordt gemaakt, het naar binnen kijken, naar je eigen lichamelijkheid en verlangens naar de ander. Het spel tussen deze buiten- en binnenwereld is het kader waarbinnen de toeschouwer zijn eigen spel, interne dialoog, voert.

The challenge to use the ear as a sense organ to look at your fellow man, your city, in times of distance. But also the dynamics of the movement that is made inward, about the looking inward, at your own physicality and desires for the other. The interplay between this outer and inner world is the framework within which the spectator conducts his own game, internal dialogue.

What would you like the audience to take with them, at the end of the experience?

That is entirely up to them to decide.


Dutch première: Friday April 23, 5 pm
and then continuously
Please note: this program is only available in Dutch