The visitor is / becomes the artist

Artists and visitors alike were invited to bring their performances to HOTFOX. Art performances of all kinds were welcome and there was no need to enlist beforehand. The only thing present in the space was a white line, a border, segregating the artists from the nonartists. Stepping over this line meant that, at that time, you positioned yourself as an artist and were expected to perform in front of the nonartists/spectators. There wasn't an actual timeframe for the performances and they were allowed to overlap as well. The happening could've been described as a "Bring Your Own Performance" or "B.Y.O.P." event, derived from the famous Bring Your Own Beamer (B.Y.O.B.) events, where artists are invited to bring their beamers to an art space and project their work, without hierarchy or pre-conceived concept of what to show.

I would like to re-quote a person who names himself Suske, after one of the main characters of the Belgian comic 'Suske en Wiske' by Willy Vandersteen. Suske posted these quotes on the Facebook event page of Art performance night. Suske also performed during the happening. Thank you for these befitting quotes.

"Performance requires two groups of people, one acting and the other observing, to gather at the same time and place for a given period of shared lifetime. Their encounter - interactive and confrontational - produces the event of the performance."

"To use traditional terminology: performance must satisfy specific conditions of 'production' and 'reception'. The actors act, that is, they move through space, gesture, change their expression, manipulate objects, speak or sing. The spectators perceive their actions and respond to them."

"Although some of these reactions might be limited to internal processes, their perceptible responses are equally significant: the spectators laugh, cheer, sigh, groan, sob, cry, scuff their feet, or hold their breath; they yawn, fall asleep, and begin to snore; they cough and sneeze, eat and drink, crumple wrapping paper, whisper, or shout comments, call 'bravo' and 'encore', applaud, jeer and boo, get up, leave the theatre, and bang the door on their way out."

"In short, whatever the actors do elicits a response from the spectators, which impacts on the entire performance. In this sense, performances are generated and determined by a self-referential and ever-changing feedback loop. Hence, performance remains unpredictable and spontaneous to a certain degree."

- Erika Fischer-Lichte, 'The Transformative Power Of Performance', 2008, Routledge, p.38, chapter 'Shared bodies, shared spaces - The bodily co-presence of actors and spectators' -

On the night itself, multiple performances happened. Some artists knew of the happening and actually prepared performances beforehand to then bring to the space, step over the line and perform whatever they wanted to perform. There was no timeframe or a set schedule, so some performances were fleeting, because of the lack of an audience. Others received an audience over time as people walked in, while there was something going on and some performers waited for their audience or just for the right time to perform. Striking was that everyone knew instantly where to position themselves, performers stepped over the line and claimed the role as an artist, while the audience consciously stayed on the side of the nonartists, that is, when a performance was going on. At moments when the space was empty, some visitors stepped towards the line and couldn't resist but walk over it. They then also positioned themselves as artists and were in that moment performing. And if you take on the role of artist, you are also expected to take on the responsibilities of the artist, as such, people were asked to write down their names and the title of their work. This went for both actual performers and visitors who were playing with the line. At one point a child came into the space, together with his parents. His parents took him to the line and the kid saw the stencil lettering on the floor and recognized some of the letters from his name. Without hesitation he stepped over the white line to look at the rest of the letters. His daddy followed him and they started playing on the other side. The child was at that point part of a performance that he himself had instigated and when they crossed the line back to the side of the nonartists, daddy wrote down their names and the title of their work. An other interesting case, was when two performers, who had prepared something beforehand, went over the line to do their thing, when at some point another artist stepped over the line as well and started measuring their positions and the "artist space". Two performances where now going on at the same time. There was also an artist, who told me beforehand that he couldn't be there physically, but that he was available on his phone all night. He told me I could call him at any time and that he would then sing a song for the audience present. So I called him, put him on speakerphone, stepped over the line myself, held up the phone and was now a tool in function of the artists' performance.

Art performance night was a platform, a happening. You are free to organize your own Art performance night or B.Y.O.P., anywhere in the world. I would like to thank everyone who came and felt the urge to perform.

Here is a list of all performers and the titles of their work in the order they were written down:

Jo Caimo
Megaphone-Ensemble
2013

Tille & Raphael Vandeputte
1 3 start
2013

Suske & Klara K..
Suske & Klara K..
2013

Bastianen Stijn
Als ek ier ne kak draai, is da een sculptuur
2013

Max Von Bent
TELEFOON SEX
2013

Johanna de Vos
groene kool
2013

Yannick Val Gesto
PEEK A BOO
2013

Erik Nain chx.
Cnoniy the lur
2013

Kasper Bosmans
We'll walk alone
2013

Alex + Erika
Artist = Artist + 2
2013

Ciels Nuyvers
Crossing the line of Boundaries that are socially accepted by normal beings
2013

Pauline Debrichy + Pieter Jenes
let be yourself
2013

Kasper De Vos
Kasper OP BLIK
2013

Welmer Keesmaat
Eindelijk/Finally
2013

Suzanne Somer
non-
2013

BHAGWATI PRASAD
MAGRING-REMENG-"Measuring remains"
2013

Jonas De Decker
1) What if you become the drawing? 2) What if you are the drawing?
2013

Filip Collin
1) What if you become the drawing? 2) What if you are the drawing?
2013

Harry Heirmans
NO SMARTPHONE JUST GSM WITH CALL TO HERMAN TEZ MUBBER 03 230 72 79
2013

Pieter De Clercq
to write a line
2013

Benny Van den Meulengracht-Vrancx
Documenting a fine line
2013

If a name or title is spelled wrong, this was due to a case of unreadability. If you would like to have something corrected, don't hesitate to contact.