Marijs Boulogne is multi-tasking artist, crossing boundaries between playwriting, theatre, performance, music and visual arts. For many years, important elements of her work are related to her love for traditional female crafts, like crochet, embroidery and knitting, which she uses to connect with contemporary issues and develops in different media – installations, workshops, performances, lectures, etc.
As part of Syndicate 2019, we are presenting five different events related to her on-going Swelf Cycle, conceived by herself or in collaboration with other artists. The Swelf Cycle is inviting people of different backgrounds to discover the complexity of their bodies and sexual organs and open up about issues of gender and sexuality in a playful way. The word ‘swelf’ is a neologism, invented by the poet and writer Joke van Leeuwen especially for the artistic activities of Marijs Boulogne. The swelf incorporates the entire nervous system, from the viewpoint of its interactions with the clitoris or penis, the swelf’s main organs.
Here, she departs from traditional crafts and uses them in creation of a spectrum of artificial genders, named swelves, in different conductive materials. Artificial autonomous nervous systems serve as educational gender specimens with anatomical precision. Swelves were made by Marijs Boulogne over the last 12 years in a series of open crochet workshops around the concept of gender, in different cultural centres with the support of various interest communities. You can join in and make your own swelf at her workshop.
Swelves show the different sensory motivators in the reproductive organs, how to activate the body's own autonomous nervous system and enable the limbic system to create its magic. We have an amazing organ, with a specific creativity function which is supported by the limbic system. It's basically generating signals to produce emotions and words to speak with, coming from your pelvic nerves, and from deep inside your hips, the area old anatomy books usually described as connective tissue. This limbic signal is responsible for our musicality, language, words, and any spontaneous expression of the face, voice or hands.
Betty Atari Robot is the next step in The Swelf Cycle development. It is visualizing strategies of impact of sensory information on limbic signals, speech and spontaneous expressions which become poignant once the robots start communicating.
Betty Atari Robot is a recycled entity, based on the female nervous system. She is prone to emit communication patterns and likes to respond in a piezo-acoustic and electronic language. She is a construct, compiled from scratch, around a strong metal spinal column.
A recuperated body amplifying the minute sensations of own body parts through delays of stroking hand gestures. Her inner mechanisms are constructed with colliding tactical sounds together with an op-amp electronic heartbeat simulation. The entanglements of wires of electric nervous system carry positive and negative voltages, modulated in clusters of integrated circuits, supplemented by the sensory perception of light.
She runs on a very regular timer ic 555, sequencing her proto-feelings. She is a rebel sensitive compilation of emotive-sensory interfaces. Betty is an experimental autonomous healing device , gently emitting her slow pitch frequencies. She interacts with her environment and registers every touch of her metal acoustic nervous system.
Betty Atari robot is an active force, using sound and music as a way to overcome fear, destruction and aggression.
ATARI: Please come and try me
To exorcise yourself or your significant other
Reflect on nervous systems and
Let me activate your sensory motivators
Swelves crochet works: Marijs Boulogne, Wilfrieda Stroobants, Ester Joris and past workshops participants
Atari Robot Development: Lize Verlooy and Marijs Boulogne
Internship: Afroditi Anastopoulou
Opening Presentation in Ljubljana: Marijs Boulogne
Production: Buelens Paulina
Organised by: Emanat
In collaboration with: Alkatraz Gallery
Financial support: Ministry of Culture RS, City Municipality Ljubljana – Department for Culture, Flanders Department of Culture, Youth and Media
Marijs Boulogne (1978) is a theatre maker, playwright and performance artist. She graduated as a theatre director in 2002 at the RITS School of Arts (Brussels) and studied an additional year in open workshop, new media, installation, and interdisciplinary work. She began directing her own plays in 1999 and received several prizes for her productions. Her plays have been translated into seven languages and have been performed in many countries under her own direction. She wrote and directed Voulez-vous poeper avec moi, Herzschmerz, Picknick!, Excavations, The Anatomy Lesson, Marzipan or Plexi and co-wrote Love Zero Control, Good Habits and Endless Medication with Manah Depauw.
Recurring themes in her work are sexuality, comedy and female strategies of liberation throughout the ages. She performs as singer, accordionist, storyteller and presenter. Since 2011, she is also presenting, coordinating and organising Lucha Libre wrestling events of the 'Spelers van de Ring' and Brussels Young Wrestling Style. Since a few years she also started wrestling herself as Peggy, trained by Pietro Badiali (Lady-Man-Catch Club), Belgium.
Lize Verlooy aka Lize BLAUW is a freelance artist and performer. She is driven by fascination for natural processes and the deeper mechanics of life, always looking for the soul in things. She creates multi-media sculptures and installations, assembled structures that employ multiple techniques into a cinematic installation. She creates recycled fairy tales, fusing mythology, archetypes and animism with contemporary themes as part of artistic shamanic ritual. Her works are interactive and always open for dialogue. She presented her works in several European cities, Robodock in Amsterdam, Bifff in Brussels, Rdeče zore in Ljubljana. She is a member of Post.TRAUM Collective.