20 September 2020
11 am – 1 pm
Damplein, Middelburg (Map)
Curator: Roos Gortzak
For the fifth edition of Rooms of Now, artist Sophie Schmidt was invited to develop a new performance, Cyborg Procession with Trennungsüberwindungsprothese and Tomatenfrauen. Instead of taking place in a private house, this edition of Rooms of Now took place in a public space that has been a 'home of the arts' for decades: the Podio del Mondo per l’Arte (1979) by Marinus Boezem at the former grain market located on Damplein in Middelburg.
For Sophie Schmidt, the human body as we know it is not a given. Isn't it a pity after all that your ears can never touch each other because the head is always in between? Or why don’t we have antennae, so that our senses could be more distinct? In her work, Schmidt experiments with evolutionary transformations that could change not only human anatomy, but also our perception of the world around us. By means of drawings, installations and performances with movement machines and prostheses, Schmidt explores an 'extension of being human' that raises questions about embodiment and the relationship between man and his environment.
In Cyborg Procession with Trennungsüberwindungsprothese and Tomatenfrauen, Sophie Schmidt explores how the human body serves as a benchmark for the notion and experience of spaces and architecture. From classical antiquity, the idea of ‘the human body’ rests on the male norm; the male body becomes the measure of all things and the gauge of being human. Schmidt seeks alternative body concepts and other forms of togetherness that overcomes hierarchies and integrates all types of beings. In this performance, which took place at the Podio del Mondo per l’Arte, the former grain market, the columns became befriended tomato women, painted on panels. In the center of the space was the Trennungsüberwindungsprothese and a microphone through which the artist sang the tomato women's song.
There was the tomato Lady
She was laying upside down
Her breast became Tomato’s
So her legs could just fal down
She was opening her beally
Sothat the tomato could come
One last glory of the legs now
The human has to be overcome
The will be a transformation les orails die Ohren sind immer getrennt
Der Kopf liegt im Dazwischen, das eigentlich störende Element.
Regade die Tomatenfrau leuchtet, she is shining in the prothesenwald
Der Käferprister im Dazwischen
Der Gehstock mit Ei, der gibt Halt.
For Podio del Mondo per l’Arte, Boezem appropriated the space under the old grain market of Middelburg in 1976 and renamed it an international stage for contemporary art in the future. Since that date, various artists have made an artistic contribution to the Podio that have been incorporated in the floor.
In 2015 Vleeshal kicked of its Nomadic Program, as an extension of its existing exhibition program in Middelburg. In its Nomadic Program Vleeshal goes on tour, organising exhibitions and other events in collaboration with venues in the Netherlands and abroad, such as Art Rotterdam, Amsterdam Art Weekend, the Spring Performance Festival, WIELS Art Book Fair, Brussels and Poppositions, Brussels.
Rooms of Now is a project series in which an (inter)national artist is invited to create an artistic intervention in people's homes, in Middelburg. The title is borrowed from a photography project from the artist Maurice van Es, who realised the first edition of Rooms of Now. The series took place from 2019–2022.
Rooms of Now is the follow up of the public program So You Don't Get Lost in the Neighborhood.
This project was made possible by the generous support of the Mondriaan Fund and the municipality of Middelburg.