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Yan Duyvendakartist sheet 10/78

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Started out as an artist, then began to stage solo and collaborative performance pieces. Developed his stage work until his largest show to date, the musical Sound of Music, first performed in autumn 2015.

PerformanceProcess Basel 2017-2018
sat 02 Dec 2017
1
16h30
Keep it Fun for Yourself (2017)Musée Tinguely

Duyvendak performs a cappella songs that are devoted to art and question the role of the artist.

2
16h45
Self-Service (2017)Musée Tinguely

A camera on a tripod is focused on the photo of a concrete building, the image appears on a monitor. In the artist's hands the moving screen ultimately no longer transmits the still image, but begins to record new aspects of the building like a camera.

3
17h
Canceled — My Name Is Neo (for fifteen minutes) (2017)Musée Tinguely

What remains when the screen goes blank again, when Batman, James Bond or Neo the One have vanished? An action movie - Matrix - encounters the corporeality of a human being.

PerformanceProcess Paris, Centre Culturel Suisse 18.09-13.12.15
tue 20 Oct 2015
1
20h
Yan Duyvendak's first solo performances retrospectiveCentre culturel suisser+33 1 42 71 44 50

KEEP IT FUN FOR YOURSELF (1995, 10')

By singing songs that talk about art a cappella, Yan Duyvendak ironically explores the role of the artist. He respects the tempo of the songs, plays on embarrassing silences, and uses minimal staging, including himself in a process that lays bare the performance.

 

UNE SOIRÉE POUR NOUS (1999, 15')

Une soirée pour nous combines international channel-hopping (programmes, weather forecasts, adverts) with a Céline Dion concert dedicated to René, her sick husband and manager. She talks to him live, and René's image appears on screens. Yan Duyvendak becomes Céline Dion, an object of aversion and fascination.

 

YOU INVITED ME, DON'T YOU REMEMBER (2002, 17')

Yan Duyvendak frees himself from the image and uses film soundtracks. The performer's sounds and movements produce the illusion of images. The artist references the figure of evil, which can take many forms but which never actually appears.

 

YOU'RE DEAD! (2003, 30')

You're Dead! references the world of videogames, transforming the performance space into a virtual landscape in which the artist plays an avatar that moves, hunts, and shoots. His choreographic reinterpretation expresses the gap between the real and the virtual and the effort required for identification.

wed 21 Oct 2015
1
20h
Yan Duyvendak's first solo performances retrospectiveCentre culturel suisser+33 1 42 71 44 50

KEEP IT FUN FOR YOURSELF (1995, 10')

By singing songs that talk about art a cappella, Yan Duyvendak ironically explores the role of the artist. He respects the tempo of the songs, plays on embarrassing silences, and uses minimal staging, including himself in a process that lays bare the performance.

 

DREAMS COME TRUE (2003, 23')

The pathetic careers of people who believe their dreams can come true in TV reality shows. Among these illusions, Yan Duyvendak integrates solutions from people who want to teach him how to be a star. He breaks down the mechanisms of this dehumanising competition.

 

SELF-SERVICE (2003, 15')

Self-service involves a camera on a tripod pointed at a photo of a concrete building, and a monitor. When the artist moves the monitor towards the floor, the image reveals the lower storeys of the building and the road. In the artist's hands, the monitor no longer screens the image but films it like a camera.

 

MY NAME IS NEO (FOR FIFTEEN MINUTES), (2001, 15')

Can we be the “chosen one” for fifteen minutes? And what remains when the screen goes blank, when Batman, James Bond, or “Neo, the One” have disappeared? My Name is Neo confronts an action film full of special effects with the raw physicality of a human being.

thu 22 Oct 2015
1
20h
Yan Duyvendak's first solo performances retrospectiveCentre culturel suisser+33 1 42 71 44 50

KEEP IT FUN FOR YOURSELF (1995, 10')

By singing songs that talk about art a cappella, Yan Duyvendak ironically explores the role of the artist. He respects the tempo of the songs, plays on embarrassing silences, and uses minimal staging, including himself in a process that lays bare the performance.

 

UNE SOIRÉE POUR NOUS (1999, 15')

Une soirée pour nous combines international channel-hopping (programmes, weather forecasts, adverts) with a Céline Dion concert dedicated to René, her sick husband and manager. She talks to him live, and René's image appears on screens. Yan Duyvendak becomes Céline Dion, an object of aversion and fascination.

 

YOU INVITED ME, DON'T YOU REMEMBER (2002, 17')

Yan Duyvendak frees himself from the image and uses film soundtracks. The performer's sounds and movements produce the illusion of images. The artist references the figure of evil, which can take many forms but which never actually appears.

 

YOU'RE DEAD! (2003, 30')

You're Dead! references the world of videogames, transforming the performance space into a virtual landscape in which the artist plays an avatar that moves, hunts, and shoots. His choreographic reinterpretation expresses the gap between the real and the virtual and the effort required for identification.

fri 23 Oct 2015
1
20h
Yan Duyvendak's first solo performances retrospectiveCentre culturel suisser+33 1 42 71 44 50

KEEP IT FUN FOR YOURSELF (1995, 10')

By singing songs that talk about art a cappella, Yan Duyvendak ironically explores the role of the artist. He respects the tempo of the songs, plays on embarrassing silences, and uses minimal staging, including himself in a process that lays bare the performance.

 

DREAMS COME TRUE (2003, 23')

The pathetic careers of people who believe their dreams can come true in TV reality shows. Among these illusions, Yan Duyvendak integrates solutions from people who want to teach him how to be a star. He breaks down the mechanisms of this dehumanising competition.

 

SELF-SERVICE (2003, 15')

Self-service involves a camera on a tripod pointed at a photo of a concrete building, and a monitor. When the artist moves the monitor towards the floor, the image reveals the lower storeys of the building and the road. In the artist's hands, the monitor no longer screens the image but films it like a camera.

 

MY NAME IS NEO (FOR FIFTEEN MINUTES), (2001, 15')

Can we be the “chosen one” for fifteen minutes? And what remains when the screen goes blank, when Batman, James Bond, or “Neo, the One” have disappeared? My Name is Neo confronts an action film full of special effects with the raw physicality of a human being.

Exhibitions

60 years of performance art in Switzerland museum Tinguely, 20.09.2017 - 28.01.2018

Keep It Fun for Yourself (1995-2017)

Since 1995 Duyvendak has been performing a cappella songs that are devoted to art and question the artist's role. The corpus of Keep it Fun For Yourself currently comprises 60 songs.

extraball

symposium

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biography

Born in 1965, lives in Geneva and Marseille.
Yan Duyvendak trained at the École Cantonale d'Art du Valais and the École Supérieure d'Art Visuel in Geneva. He started out as a visual artist and has been doing performance art since 1995. His video work forms part of collections including those of the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Lyon and the Museum der Moderne in Salzburg. He has won many awards in Switzerland, including the Namics Kunstpreis für Neue Medien (2004), the Network Kulturpreis (2006) and the Meret Oppenheim Prize (2010). Now part of the performing arts circuit, in 2015 he directed Sound of Music, a musical co-produced by the Théâtre de Vidy, the Festival de la Bâtie, the Forum Meyrin in Switzerland, and the Théâtre Nanterre-Amandiers.

bibliography

interview

images

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Yan Duyvendak, Keep it Fun for Yourself (1995) © Simon Letellier / CCS

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Yan Duyvendak, Une soirée pour nous (1999) © Simon Letellier / CCS

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Yan Duyvendak, My Name is Neo (for fifteen minutes) (2001) © Simon Letellier / CCS

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Yan Duyvendak, You Invited Me, Don't You Remember (2002) © Simon Letellier / CCS

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Yan Duyvendak, Self-Service (2003) © Simon Letellier / CCS

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Yan Duyvendak, You're Dead ! (2003) © Simon Letellier / CCS

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Yan Duyvendak, Dreams Come True (2003) © Simon Letellier / CCS

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Yan Duyvendak - Self-Service © Simon Lettelier

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Yan Duyvendak - Self-Service © Simon Lettelier

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Yan Duyvendak - Self-Service © Simon Lettelier

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Yan Duyvendak - Self-Service © Simon Lettelier

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Yan Duyendak - Keep it Fun for Yourself © Simon Letellier

yan-duyvendak

Yan Duyendak - Keep it Fun for Yourself © Simon Letellier

yan-duyvendak

Yan Duyendak - Keep it Fun for Yourself © Simon Letellier

yan-duyvendak

Yan Duyendak - Keep it Fun for Yourself © Simon Letellier

yan-duyvendak

Yan Duyendak - Keep it Fun for Yourself © Simon Letellier

yan-duyvendak

Yan Duyendak - Keep it Fun for Yourself © Simon Letellier

yan-duyvendak

Yan Duyendak - Keep it Fun for Yourself © Simon Letellier

yan-duyvendak

Yan Duyendak - Keep it Fun for Yourself © Simon Letellier

yan-duyvendak

Yan Duyendak - Keep it Fun for Yourself © Simon Letellier

yan-duyvendak

Yan Duyendak - Keep it Fun for Yourself © Simon Letellier

yan-duyvendak

Yan Duyendak - Keep it Fun for Yourself © Simon Letellier

yan-duyvendak

Yan Duyendak - Keep it Fun for Yourself © Simon Letellier

yan-duyvendak

Yan Duyendak - Keep it Fun for Yourself © Simon Letellier

yan-duyvendak

Yan Duyvendak - Keep it Fun for Yourself © Simon Letellier

vidéos

texts

Outside the frame

Yan Duyvendak presents seven solos from his repertoire, in which he plays with video images. A “retrospective” that veers between Matrix, Céline Dion and the Devil. ...

Yan Duyvendak presents seven solos from his repertoire, in which he plays with video images. A “retrospective” that veers between Matrix, Céline Dion and the Devil.

In one performance, Yan Duyvendak reproduces, in synch with the image but without the magic of special effects, the incredible acrobatics of Neo's last battle in Matrix. In another, he changes into a videogame character who, as a first-person shooter, fires at everything that moves. In yet another, he solemnly sings, a capella, a few familiar pop songs dealing with the figure of the artist (Cézanne peint by France Gall, the famous Blues du Businessman, and so on.) What do these performances have in common? Yan Duyvendak likes to step outside the frame and shift our perceptions. What matters to him most about the very diverse practice of performance art is the fact that it emerged with the unifying idea of shattering dogma. In 1995, having trained as an artist, he grew bored of exhibiting and transformed himself into a performance artist. “I decided to do a music-hall show in the visual arts,” he explains. “I put together a recital of inanities. Standing on an air vent in the courtyard of the Cité des Arts, wearing a dress that referenced both Édith Piaf and gladiator costumes, I performed a string of hits in front of an audience of artists-in-residence, other artists, and art professionals.”

Derived from this musical act, Keep it Fun for Yourself will be presented at PerformanceProcess. Along with six other performance pieces, it will be repeating his mantra of “stepping out of the frame”.

First we have television, its screen the most universal frame of all. In Dreams Come True, Yan Duyvendak references and replays typical moments in reality shows. In Une soirée pour nous, the spectator finds himself at home, channel-hopping between a Céline Dion concert, a war film, a Kinder ad and the confessions of the mother of a transsexual, before embarking on a kind of tele-karaoke. The aim is not to suggest an easy critique of the stupidity shown on the small screen, but to replay scenes outside the frame, making them his own, embracing them and observing how they move us and affect us.

Still focusing on images, My Name Is Neo reproduces, on a human scale, the trick acrobatics in the final scenes of Matrix. You're Dead brings a new sense of presence to the first-person shooter we never actually see in videogames. Where is the man, the human, and humanity in these endless waves of images? The question is not only contemporary. You Invited Me, Don't You Remember? interacts with soundtracks from American films where the question of evil and the Devil has been a recurrent theme at different times.

The last image to be stepped beyond is that of representations of reality we elaborate as life goes on, in “self-service” mode, so to speak. Like the “little history of performance”, combining amorous imaginings and melodramatic clichés, that Yan Duyvendak creates by moving around with a camera linked to a video monitor.

Still stepping out of frames, he now occupies a (fortunately larger and larger) space in which theatre and performance art are interwoven. And his shows, in line with performance art, always combine intimacy and politics. In Made in Paradise, for instance, with the Cairene performer Omar Ghayatt, he tested acceptance of the Other—of Arabs—following the events of September 2001. This season he is staging a musical, Sounds of Music, which can be seen at Les Amandiers from 2 to 9 October 2015. A change of direction? Not at all: in Yan Duyvendak's world there is a real taste for pop culture, at the frontiers of kitsch, which always contrasts with the seriousness of his message. In this musical, as in the performances at PerformanceProcess, his work always oscillates between deep seriousness and hilarious underlying irony, between the inevitable pleasure of entertainment and the need “to shed light on the blind comedy of the world”.

 

Eric Demey, arts journalist who writes for Mouvement magazine and the newspaper La Terrasse

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