Museum of Stillness
In coproduction with Cultura Nova
Something special is about to happen in SCHUNCK Museum.
Every day the Museum of Stillness opens its doors for one hour. In this museum-like space the audience is challenged to sharpen its perception.
In a world in which we are overwhelmed by visual and auditory noise, stillness is an essential tool for discovering ingrained habits and changing obstinate beliefs, for making razor-sharp observations, and for having the opportunity to really listen, feel and see.
The Museum of Stillness is open to adults only.
You can also visit the pop-up STILL.the auditorium where discussions are held almost every day with special guests somewhere in the public area on the subject of silence and the senses. Keep an eye on the website and Facebookpage of Cultura Nova or Hoge Fronten to find out at what time the discussions are held and where you need to be!
Hoge Fronten / Lieke Benders and STILL.
Lieke Benders submerged herself in stillness since 2017, which resulted in various performances and installations during theme years STILL.the nature and STILL.silence. Every year during Cultura Nova she unveils a different museum hall: STILL.the exposition in 2017 and STILL.the sculpture garden in 2018. For this third museum hall, in theme year 2019: STILL.life, Lieke Benders searches together with others for the meaning of stillness within the aspects of our sensory perceptions.
A highlight this year is the collaboration with actor Bart Bijnens of the Dutch theatre company Toneelgroep Maastricht, and with the French choreographer Éric Minh Cuong Castaing and illustrator Livia Coloji from Romania. As part of Centriphery, a collaboration project of nine European festivals that all appear in the ‘Border Land’ of their country, these artists form the artistic core team.
Cultura Nova and Hoge Fronten/Lieke Benders have been working together for some time. Cultura Nova was a co-producer of successful performances such as ‘Niet vergeten’ (Don’t forget), ‘Gluren’ (Peeking) and STILL. In her work, Lieke Benders playfully and poetically emphasises the social importance of nuance, compassion and empathy. Her starting point is always from her own observations of human needs, the spirit of the times and the DNA of South Limburg. The performances by Hoge Fronten are given in theatres in the Netherlands and Belgium, and at various national and international festivals.
Within Centriphery, Bart Bijnens represents Toneelgroep Maastricht. Bart graduated from the Maastricht Academy of Dramatic Arts in 2017. Before that he followed a course at Arcus Kunst, Theatre and Media (KTM). In 2011 he was part of a group of students that, together with elderly residents of Sevagram, made the emotional performance ‘The Family Table’ on Cultura Nova 2011.
In addition to his work in the theatre, with companies such as International Theatre Amsterdam, The National Theatre and Toneelgroep Maastricht, Bart has gained experience in operas, music theatre and film making. His work as a director’s assistant and actor includes collaborations with internationally renowned artists such as Ivo van Hove, Frank van Laecke, and Erwin Olaf.
Choreographer Éric Minh Cuong Castaing established Shonen Company (‘teenager’ in Japanese) in 2007. He has been an associate artist at the Ballet National de Marseille since 2016. Castaing makes dance performances, installations, and films in which he explores the digital age. The duality between art & society, reality & fiction, nature & artificiality are also recurring themes in his work. It is interesting to note that Castaing attempts to link dance to new techniques, such as humanoid robots, drones, and augmented reality. His work is given shape within social reality in cooperation with institutions outside the art world, including research laboratories, schools, hospitals, and non-governmental organisations (NGOs).
Livia Coloji is a visual artist who primarily works in the field of illustration. She graduated from the West University of Timisoara, Faculty of Arts and Design, with a degree in Graphics. She works in a shared studio on illustration books for children, stationery, packaging, and editorial illustrations for customers from all over the world. She was shortlisted for the World Illustration Award 2015 (UK) and several of her books were awarded national design prizes. Livia is also part of Balamuc, an artist group and independent artist-run space focused on social and political drawings.
direction and concept
Eric Minh Cuong Castaing
Saskia de Haas
Director assistance and text
Centriphery is an European project funded under the Creative Europe framework by the European Union.
Dancers and performers
Marcel van Beijnen or Sebastiaan Barneveld and Leroy de Böck
De Nieuwe Collectie
Set construction and technology
Marq Claessens and Vincent Lafeber
With special thanks to:
Anna Linckens, Emmanuel Courtis, Roger Schepers, Marga Kattenberg, Marjolein de Man, Brigitta Santegoeds, all participants in workshops, the test audience and many others.
Volkskrant 4 stars
Amidst the colourful hustle and bustle of the Cultura Nova programme, one project stages a silent rebellion: the international Still.centriphery/Museum of Stillness by theatre producer Lieke Benders, actor Bart Bijnens, French choreographer Éric Minh Cuong Castaing, and Romanian illustrator Livia Coloji. This beautiful, mindful performance heightens the senses by reducing stimuli to their pure, primary forms, such as warmth and gentle physical contact. Over the space of an hour, we hear a paintbrush creating a mural and we feel our way in complete darkness with our hands and feet.
We have to hand in our smartphones, watches and other distracting baggage before we can descend in groups to the basement of the huge SCHUNCK Museum, where we can wander around big white cubes and rooms. ‘Do not enter’, ‘Do not open’ it says on the sliding doors. After a while, the placards are removed and the rooms reveal their secrets.
‘A day at Cultura Nova’
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