Benjamin Verdonck (1972) lives and works in Antwerp. He is a theater maker, visual artist and author, with a distinctive practice both inside and outside the theater. His performances, installations, actions, tableaux and pamphlets all share the same undertone: how to give shape to the lack of public debate on the gradually inescapable changes in our ecosystem.

Verdonck’s theater work often gives a leading role to ‘the things’ – objects, forms, surfaces, collections of ‘trouvailles’ – which he lets speak for themselves. In the public space, he makes himself heard with remarkable interventions and installations such as Bara/ke (2000), Hirondelle / Dooi vogeltje / the Great swallow (a man-sized swallow’s nest at 32m height against a mirrored building in Brussels 2004, Birmingham 2005 and Rotterdam 2008), Vogelenzangpark 17bis (Ghent 2012), BOOT

(a ten-day performance on an apartment block in Szczecin, Poland, 2012). During KALENDER, 365 days of action in Antwerp in 2009, he makes the public space the center of his artistic practice for a year. KALENDER is autonomously reflected in the white cube of the museum (KALENDER/WIT) (2010) and in the black box of the theater (KALENDER/ZWART) (2010). In June 2012, the summer exhibition ‘Mind the system, Find the gap’ will open at Z33 in Hasselt, where artists will search for ‘holes in the system’. Benjamin Verdonck will put together a new work in two adjoining rooms in the Hasselt Beguinage, using elements of the earlier KALENDER/WIT. Shortly thereafter, a new action in the public space, BOOT, will be built on an apartment building in Szczecin, Poland in July 2012; it is a ten-day project that is both installation-in-progress and performance. Other visual work can be seen in WIELS, M HKA and S.M.A.K. In parallel, Verdonck’s visual work can be found in galleries such as Annie Gentils Gallery, Croxhapox, LLS387, Tim Van Laere Gallery and Galerie Florent Tossin (DE).

Published on

02 July 2021