Wannes Goetschalckx (1978) is a Belgian installation and performance artist who made the performative installation 1 STORY back in 2005, filmed and edited by Kurt Augustyns. In this 20-minute performance you can observe him in an almost child-like manner, while pushing both the architectural elements in the space and his own gravitationally limited physical capacities to the limits in a seemingly purposeless story. His full conviction and at times desperate efforts are extremely captivating, carrying away the spectators and making them watch the action in dire straits as he’s taking a next step. While climbing, jumping, scrambling and almost floating through the entire space, he moves from one element to another in order to ultimately crawl into a dark hole and disappear. As if it were an animal that’s reached its nest and finally comes to rest after an exhausting journey full of hurdles.
1 STORY is part of a multiple series of performances, two of which – 1 KIND and 1 HOUSE – were shown at West in 2007 and 2013 respectively. Both exhibitions were supplemented by a performance in which Wannes was forced to exceed his physical and mental limits as well. He’s known for fully appropriating the space of his performances, as well as frequently addressing comfort, pain, exposure, privation and enclosure.
The video of 1 STORY has been made accessible throughout the whole week by museum MAXXI in Rome, and can be watched at the West website too.