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Poster for To Perform Is To Achieve Performance

To Perform Is To Achieve (2013) by Hans Christian van Nijkerk

This is the video documentation of a performance by Hans Christian van Nijkerk at Small Projects Gallery in Tromsø (Norway), January 26th 2013.

As a former middle distance runner (active 1996-2005) , Hans Christian was used to competing in the national – and once also European – finals. Hans Christian was interested in exploring how his life experience as an athlete has shaped him as a performance and an artist. Put it this way: It's no coincidence that he ended up in the Norwegian national poetry slam competition finals in 2011. Do you always need to prove your skills to an audience? Are you fully dependent upon their approval? (In poetry slam, sadly - yes) To improve artistically, you must get comfortable with failing – which opens up for exploring new ways of expression. And excelling at failing – that's what Hans Christian is trying to do in his current performance projects and most recently his «Winners of Loss» video series, shot at his former track and field stadium near Bergen. Through performing various actual and invented warm-up exercises, he plays around with the strict and absurd training regimen so central to the training program of a top athlete. He is not doing it for applause. He is doing it to try to express – using his body – what the cultish social rituals of a sportsclub and years of training discipline can do to you.

Copyright © Hans Christian van Nijkerk 2014
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