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︎︎︎De Groene Amsterdammer, Column

Clarinde Wesselink,
Filmmaker & choreographer
Van Breestraat 92-1
1071 ZT Amsterdam
The Netherlands



Biography

Every memory arises from a sensory experience: the scent of freshly squeezed orange juice, the tingling sensation of grass beneath bare feet, the sudden sight of elongated shadows in the night under the glow of a street lamp.

Imagine being able to alter your experience of the world by physically modifying your body. By wearing an extension, such as a headpiece—a prosthesis from which sprouts a thin rod with a heavy metal sphere atop. Each movement of the sphere can throw you off balance, so every step must be taken carefully and consciously to avoid falling.

After completing my studies in Fine Arts at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie (2010-2014), I began creating sculptures of this kind. They were affixed to the body, restricting and manipulating it, thus altering the relationship between the body and the wearer's environment. It was my initial attempt to forge a distinct language between body and space.

During a residency at Knockvologan Studies (2018), Isle of Mull, I delved into the perceptual abilities of frogs. I discovered that frogs' skin is permeable: they drink and breathe through it. This led me to examine my own body as a permeable entity.
I envision my body as a membrane, contemplating how we can influence this membrane to foster more sensitive and profound relationships with our surroundings—how we can merge our bodies with the choreographies of nature.

In the performance "Landscape" (2019), for instance, I invited the audience to trace the path of an ant across the body with their eyes and bodies, thus engendering a new movement vocabulary through the ant's trajectory on the skin surface.

Presently, I am enrolled in the DAS Choreography Master’s program in Amsterdam and pursuing a Master's degree in Choreography at the Oslo National Academy of the Arts. My artistic inquiry revolves around cultivating a novel rapport with weather, inspired by extreme weather phenomena worldwide. Central to my practice is the endeavor to collapse the perceived distance between humans and their environment, reconceptualizing weather not as an external entity but as an integral facet of our humanity.


Press Release

They are not sculpture, but the films and drawings of Clarinde Wesselinkinhabit space as a sculpture does. Moving through water, flying in the air,running on the ground – all these figures in motion leave an imprint,however fleeting, on the medium that surrounds or supports them, like animage that remains momentarily on the retina after the act of perception.Accustomed as we are to see imprints as solid bodies produced by cominginto contact with some other solid body, from death masks to Duchamp’sFeuille de vigne femelle, these moving bodies leave an imprint that isinvisible, but no less present for that. Clarinde catches and documentsthese intangible imprints, these traces. Vanished from sight, she bringsthem back, momentarily (in her time-based media) or frozen in time (inthe drawings).The lava landscape, the garden, the brook: all are environments in whichthe body leaves a trace, or rather a multitude of traces, invisible butperceptible to and through the other senses. They may recall a passingform: a leaf, poised in a paused instant as it stands to attention. Theymay suggest a communication by signs with hands or other limbs as itshieroglyphs, an articular system that speaks through its own bodylanguage in an unwritten choreography. We cannot see the force ofgravity, but its laws are revealed when an object falls downward throughspace. Try to see the imprint in the air that its trajectory leaves.So we are invited to pay heed to those languages – the language of trees,the language of the sea, the language of birds in flight – to become awareof the imprints of passing and past movements that surround us, nothastily but with an ear receptive to listening to other people, otherlandscapes, before and after they pass on.

‘And suddenly it is evening.’
                           
                                                                                  Peter Mason