Behind the scenes images, 2015 - ongoing
Alongside Karel's artistic and reflective practice, he works as an actor, interdisciplinary lecturer in higher art drama and dance education, and as a doctoral researcher in the arts. Within this scope, his need arose to explore what sincere embodiment within the arts can be and mean. He often misses genuine physicality within the arts; as something away from the performer’s body as form, merely in the function of the imagination of a maker or as a representation. Therefore, platform BARRY was founded in 2015 from the need to create an organic and safe environment in which his hybrid work can be developed, created, and shared. Where he can research by making. The triangle of performing, teaching and academic research is an important complementary breeding ground for him to develop his own work.
As a performer, he has acquired a physical understanding of what it means or can mean to embody. This bodily knowledge informs questions that he poses as a maker about how we look and can look at bodies, in art and in life as a whole. He is particularly fascinated by how the human figure is displayed in images, the gap between the reality of that body and the depiction of it in a designed image. How intimate can a body be when you share it with the world? What inner reality does it carry, and how can you make this reality as pure, honest and transmissible as possible?
Through his embodied artistic practice, he is researching and rethinking physicality, specifically through time-based art forms. His body of work embraces mainly performance, installation and film. It deals with the effect on the performer's body within art forms which have both physical and temporal dimensions; when the body is being looked at and unfolded to the viewer over time.
The underlying balancing act that he places himself in and find interesting is how he, as a maker, can feed sincere embodiment within time-based art forms without destroying it’s essence at the same time.
With every creation, he starts from an interest in a certain thematic body. Contemplative and introspective research follows. Once he knows which aspect intrigues him in this thematic perspective of looking at the human form, he looks for the bodies that embody his specific interest. Afterward, the art form is chosen that makes their common-ground collaboration shareable most clearly and truthfully.
Beyond disciplines and across chosen art forms, his creations are characterized by a specific way in which he approaches and visualizes the performer's physique, what he refers to as the Transparent Body. The Transparent Body possesses a state of pure, sensory receptivity, that allows the performer to pay attention to what is and therefore what becomes. He guides performers to their own most neutral form removed from existing social conforms to be able to enter a bodily conscious state of being fully present in time; in close connection with the inner self, the space and the materials surrounding them. The Transparent Body is his comprehension of someone's most authentic, pure, porous physical apparel.
Therefore, he as a maker takes care to create a trustful space in which he can work together with total respect and intimacy. Reciprocity, inclusiveness and an open mind, alongside a sensitivity to the senses and the way of ‘looking’, form the core of these sustainable connections.
Due to the Transparent Body being the underlying denominator in his practices and works, and by creating a space to work with this state of being, the act of looking at bodies is continuously (re)defined. Starting from an analysis of craft and with respect for tradition, but with an eye for significant developments or departures from these origins, he is always looking for new inter-medial forms, compositions, and relationships to do with questioning and creating art that concerns human physicality. His visual language serves the existence of sincere physicality. He shelters the essence of ‘being human’ amidst a recent torrent of body images, generated by digital natives. He sees his makership as a new materialistic movement journeying towards a more natural state of being human in the arts.
All his creations are about recognizing ourselves in each other. He tries to locate the humanity in someone else, not so much to find their humanity, but as an attempt to hold on to his own being. He invites you – the viewer - to also watch the human physique from a bodily, open and multi-sensorial perspective, and to (re)consider the construction of subjectivity, cultural viewpoints and conventions when looking at framed bodies in designed images; both in artistic works and within ourselves.
"Welcome to my eyes.
It is not about the story.
It is about the window you look through.
Do you read body?
Everybody speaks body.
Watch alongside me.
See some body different."
Behind the scenes images, 2015 - ongoing
BARRY - Karel Tuytschaever (BE) has been working in a long-term partnership with DansBrabant (NL) since 2019.
Heleen Volman, internationalization:
We choose to work with Karel Tuytschaever for his tireless and carefully substantiated quest around body, physicality, and embodiment. In doing so, he finds a tone that links the timeless aspects of the body to extremely current trends in imaging. Karel's curiosity about the interaction between different disciplines and the impact of various presentation forms and spaces stretches the scope of the arts. The hunger with which he summarizes his study of the body in publications is also stimulating. He shares the importance that he attaches to looking and having it looked so generously that there is actually more to see with him.
BARRY also collaborates repeatedly with and is supported by C-TAKT & Zuidpool.
WHO IS WHO
Artistic initiator of platform BARRY, Karel Tuytschaever
Board of Directors, Petra Damen (chairwoman), Ilse Muysers, Tine Marguillier, Flore Opsomer and Toon Geysen
Editorial office website, Lisa Reinheimer and Dirk Verhoeven
English translation, Koen De Smet and Martha Gardner