Clio Van Aerde is an artist and scenographer based in Luxembourg. She studied scenography in Madrid (Escuela Superior de Artes y Espectáculos - TAI) and Paris (École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs - ENSAD), before graduating at the Academy of fine Arts in Vienna in 2016. Her artistic practice questions the trivial relations between body, time and space through performances that explore repetition and endurance. Her performance series throughout Europe Syndrome de la Décélération (2016) and her latest project on line - a manifestation of the human border (LU, 2018) being the most significant ones. Next to her own practice, she works in theatre production as a stage and costume designer. She was a scenography assistant for Rimini Protokoll on Nachlass (CH, 2016) before working as a stage designer on Die grossen Abenteuer der kleinen Sara Crewe (AT, 2018) by Frances Hodgson Burnett directed by Jethro Compton at Theater der Jugend Wien, Stupid Fucking Bird by Aaron Posner (LU, 2019) directed by Anne Simon and Dealing with Clair by Martin Crimp (LU 2019) directed by Anne Simon, both theatre pieces at théâtre des Capucins Luxembourg. She also worked in set design on several Film productions in Luxembourg e.g. Quenottes (2014), Egon Schiele-Tod und das Mädchen (2015), Invisible Sue (2017). Since 2017, she engages in the organisation and development of the artistic research based residency Antropical as part of Kolla Festival in Steinfort (LU).
My background in scenography studies and my scenographical practice have an important impact on my way of approaching each project – I intuitively start by examining the spatial dimension and its socio-cultural context. While in my scenographical practice I create spaces (playgrounds) for others (actors, the public) to play with, my performance/art practice consists in playing alone or with others in existing spaces through the means of alienation and of questioning norms and orders. I challenge the trivial relations between body, time and space through works, mostly performances, that imply and explore qualities of repetition, perseverance, endurance, concentration, meditation and patience.
In 2014, I first experimented with performative expressions before considering performance more and more as a main medium for my artistic work. My projects evolve from the counterpoint of my working style as well as my personal and professional interests: fascinated with the research and theory in science, technology, sociology, gender studies, architecture and movement, I use a practical (experimenting with installations and models, different handcrafts, geometrical forms) and a physical approach (exploring a space through one’s own body) to develop my performances.
The ethical questions which arise due to the evolution of technology and its use and misuse seem essential to me. One of my main goals is to create space for deceleration. Instead of following the Pied Piper of technology, I aim to form an (analogue) antipode to a society of consumption, consumerism and seemingly endless acceleration so as to debunk the fact that this lifestyle – in fact – creates stagnation, dependency and paralysis. In order to achieve this, I intend to invent new visions and build new fictional realities for them to become alternate realities.
I am very conscious about the fact that I work in multiple artistic fields (performance/walking art, art research, theatre, film, education, dance…) and clearly want to challenge the tendency and necessity of the different areas to put everything and everyone in a box. My ambition is to get theatre and art in general out of its dusty conventions and to push it to the boundaries of reality.