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Contemporary Glory

Contemporary Glory

Contemporary Glory (CG) consists of Charlien Adriaenssens (1988) and Louis van der Waal (1979). Charlien Adriaenssens graduated from the Rietveld Academy in de Image and Language department, and she has an interdisciplinary visual art practice, in which the written and spoken word plays a big part. She is also involved with the experimental art organization WORM in Rotterdam as a programmer. Louis van der Waal has a history as an actor ad theatre maker. He works both with more ‘traditional’ theatre groups, is an actor in series and films, and creates performances in between performance art and visual arts in collaboration with artists and musicians.

Characteristic for CG is the way in which theatre, performance and visual arts blend together organically into a new, medium-transcending art form with its own logic and imagery. The duo is located in Rotterdam, but also internationally they are quite active. As a collective they also often involve other makers: since 2017 they collaborated closely with Congolese artist Eddy Ekete and performed multiple times in the performance festival KINACT in Kinshasa, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In the Netherlands and Belgium they like to collaborate with Wolf Engelen, Jip van der Hek, Roxy Capriles/Friendly Stalking and Hajo Doorn/De Vrolijke Brigade, the music performance collective of Mauro Pawlowski/Ferdnnd, in Zurich with Ilya Komarov and Trixa Arnold/Freies Musiktheater.

CG is specialized in making interactive performances and improvisation theatre in the public space. They ask questions in an open-minded way about contemporary, local and mundane subjects. They’d like to act as a sponge, they say themselves, and absorb what’s going on in a certain location and what’s on the people’s minds. With their absurd, catchy and yet sensitive form of improvisation theatre they reveal these issues and start conversations. The duo is engaged and is being driven by political and social activism. One of their inspirations is their inspirations is the concept of pleasure activism, in the words of author and activist for social justice Adrienne maree brown: “Making justice and liberation the most pleasurable experiences we can have. Learning that pleasure gets lost under the weight of oppression, and it is liberating work to reclaim it.” In short, attaining social justice through making activism a pleasurable act. CG translates this to a working practice of connection and engaging in dialogue through making art together. That’s where CG really shines: the provoking of playfulness and spontaneity. They share the fun of creating with their audience, by making something new come into existence together. Out of the unique approach of the collective a crossover between theatre, performance, film, visual art is born: an exciting, inspiring edition that speaks to different groups of people and involves them actively.

Photo: Nelle van Schoor