Performances & Films & Videos

A Portrait of the Artist by the Artist,

for the exhibition “Light of Void” at Alien Art Center – Taiwan, 2022-23


Excerpts from a 60′ performance, to hell and back, like Orphée, Brussels 1983

Excerpts of a 60′ performance, to hell and back, like Orphée, Brussels 1982

21 pieces 1977/80 – 1999 – 21 min. 
(silence and noise)

21 portraits made out of the left-over of Super 8 films shot 20 years earlier.
-Reshoot with a basic video camera, barely edited-
21 portraits – 21 minutes, none of which being 1 minute long….
Each portrait is the personification of a caracter from the Noh Theater:

-Notorious Warriors
-Women or Notorious Heroïnes
-Human Beings, Men or Women
-Attached to this Present Reality
Demons or Fiendish Creatures
The 21 pieces would be better experienced on 21 monitors positioned in a circle.

CRINOLINE MAN – Lacma Museum 2011

” European Dress in Detail at LACMA. Exhibition curators Sharon Takeda and Kaye Spilker invited Wouters to revisit the crinoline and its relationship to the body in a series of exploratory movements documented here.”

SHADOW WALKER – traveling monk
Going at the crossroads, where different worlds meet, in a bodily, discreet and translucid manner: museums, theaters, airports, train stations, cemeteries, ruins… (reference to Noh theater, all plays happening at crossroads, where human and dead persons meet)
In november 2011, I was invited for an artist residency by the Museum of Contemporary Art in Tucson Arizona, MOCA, a former fire station. Dancing in the museum at night, and in the Mohave desert, among crotales and scorpions.

I decided to go to the Mojave desert in search of my shadow.

My body as a flame. Body as ashes, traces as a shadow. Body as a bow. (As a film arc light.)

Like the desert, the ageless trace of some past ocean, our own shadow is a fossilized image of our true and perpetuable nature. In the same manner as we still perceive the fossilized radiance of stars and galaxies from millions of years ago. As well as the straight line that initiates at the center of the earth, crosses our body and goes to the stars, belongs exclusively to us, the same occurs with our dear shadow.

I went to the desert, I spend time alone in the museum at night, and that particular “character” came to life, part shadow, part shaman. A reminiscence of the Death in “The Seventh Seal” of Ingmar Bergman, a reference to the journey of Joseph Beuys in “I like America and America Likes me”, to the performance of James Lee Byars, and to the inherant shamanist roots of the local indian culture.

I had the attributes of a shaman, a hat, (a hamish hat), and a stick. A stick I received from the Masaïs, 30 years ago, after having lived 3 weeks among them, in the Masai Mara, Kenya, as a mark of some sort of initiation. A “talking” stick, the stick each Masai man has, that allows him to speak among men. It is made out of the center of an aged tree, carved, then buried in the ground for 3 months. “Bâton de Palabre” in french, it is all over traditional Africa.

THE THINKING BODY 2018 ongoing

is an art piece that comes in two forms:

  • a 65 min. workshop
  • a 25 min. performance.

Name “The Practice”
Subject “The Thinking Body”

In an age where the feeling of “I” is often placed in front of us,
between our face/skull/brain and the screen of a smart phone,
it is suitable to bring it back home, inside the body, in its center.

Then to experience that “I”, spirit/mind is just a part of the body,
that the body is in intelligence with all that surrounds it,
and that “it”, “I” and “all” are just “this thing”.
“This thing” which we all think is ourself is in fact “one with everything”.
Then one might drop the mind and the body.

An exploration in space-time and being-time, as well as recalling our past as mammal, lizard, cell, plant, and why not, stone.

shin jin ichi nyo – The unity between mind/spirit and the body
zanshin – The spirit of the gesture
yugen – To care for small things, gracefulness
wa – The space in between, harmony in interdependance
wu wei – The non doing in action
To savour all through the practice of each of the above

And at the end, one might “drop mind and body” – shin jin datsu raku

Open to everyone, 18 to 80, everyday clothing. No pain, no will, no skills,no judging, Mushotoku – no sense of profit, or gain

Some hints:

To think with the body,
with the feet,
the intelligence of the hands.

To touch is a way of seeing, seeing with the body.
To place the attention in the little finger.
And the feet.

Ports de bras.

All of the above through slow and small gestures.
To be a mountain
To be a stone

Will only attend the ones who participate with an honest and sincere mindset.
Nobody is to watch from a distance.
However the experience can be lived through imperceptible movements, no need to move about.

If this is a piece of art, each one will leave the room with it.