Chantal Yzermans


° Belgium

lives and works in Madrid — Spain


Chantal Yzermans participated at Coup de Ville 2016. This text was published in the catalogue.


Chantal Yzermans is fascinated by the human body, which in our society is open to constant historical, socio-political and cultural change, both as subject and object. The performance ‘Partner/You’ is the result of her artistic research into loneliness and privacy on the worldwide web.


For this performance she immersed herself in the world of night clubs, dating sites and the digital pornographic underworld – which evidently is not so far from our bed. In this solo she positions this material in a different, artistic context. The tradition of nudity, the game of exposure and concealment is a remarkably long and controversial one in art history. Yzermans adds a risqué contribution which will long remain in our visual memory. During the performance the dancer is on-line on a chat website. This creates a ménage à trois between herself, the audience and the anonymous chat partner(s).


To this thrilling contemporary ritual Yzermans adds pagan primitive practices from Igor Stravinsky’s Le Sacre du Printemps. The composer based his work on Slavonic  ethnographical sources and sketches a sacrificial ceremony in which a young girl dances herself to death before the elders in her tribe. The practices were grouped around the spring and mid-summer solstice rituals and were recognized as shamelessly erotic festivals. An 11th -century chronicler complained that ‘When the people gathered for the games, to dance or for all manner of diabolic amusement, the men went off with women on those occasions, and each one took whichever woman he had arranged to; or more precisely, per man there were even two or three women’. Stravinsky’s composition is further underpinned by the music of the Madrilenian techno-artist Substuff.


Yzermans spent five years studying in New York, which included working under the celebrated American choreographer, Merce Cunningham. Following that, in 2007, she founded the art and new media collective Radical Low.