INDEX

~~~ Cathalijne Smulders is a visual artist. She completed her artistic education at Sandberg Institute, Amsterdam.
In her performative practice she involves herself with people with different identities and explores sensuous forms of relationships through sound, touch, smell and movement. She collaborated with people suffering from schizophrenia, with contemporary dancers, with people with spasticity and with people with aphasia, a speech impediment, and vocal improvisers. Her performative way of working often results in porous and poetic interactions and the experience of alternative, sensuous ways to relate to the other and our environment.

NEWS, WORKS

CONTACT

PARFUM VARKEN
een zintuiglijk ruikproces met varkenshouders in Limburg, een parfumbalsem en een film (2018)

~~~ Voor dit werk heb ik een geurstudie uitgevoerd naar de geur van varken in Limburg. Samen met varkenshouders onderzocht ik hoe de geur van varkens zich manifesteert in het landschap. De verzameling van geuren en de gevoelens en ervaringen die de geur van varken oproept zijn tastbaar gemaakt in een parfum balsem van varkensvet, ontworpen door geurontwerper Tanja Schell, in een keramische houder ontworpen door Mariska Koolen en in een film, gefilmd door Marijn Smulders. In opdracht van Museum Bommel van Dam / Circular Art Lab Limburg.


'WOOD, THE SYLLABLE IS MADE OF WOOD'
performance reading (2018)

~~~ 'WOOD, THE SYLLABLE IS MADE OF WOOD' is a sentence spoken by Tamara, a woman with aphasia. I made a performance reading together with her. Before her stroke, Tamara was a practicioner of rhytmic gymnastics. For this performance reading I asked Tamara to speak about rhytmic gymnastics. Whilst she speaks, she forgets words, falters and substitutes letters, syllables or words. This reading explores our perception of the other in a situation where speech is affected by a nervous disturbance of the body. Tamara speaks together with me and a group of vocal improvisors that echoes and dissolves the qualities of her fragile and faltering voice. This reading was performed at PERDU, Amsterdam and is the third version in the series: APHASIC READINGS

LANGUAGE OF PLAY / SPEELTAAL
performance / research arts education (2013 - now)

~~~ From 2013 onwards, I direct an educational arts education initiative for young children (zero to six years old), in collaboration with welfare foundation SWAZOOM and a group of performance artists.
I founded a foundation for this activities: Kleintjekunst. During the years we invented and practiced methods and strategies that stimulate young children to learn (about art) in a self-discovering way. This approach emphasizes physical and non-verbal forms of knowledge transfer. Children learn through their body and through the acquisition of sensory experiences, by moving, by feeling and by expressing themselves in movement, sound, rhythm or form.

BADEN
(2017)

~~~ BADEN bestond uit een verzameling van open performatieve sessies, op een publiek strandje, en sommige in de studio ruimte. Tijdens deze oefensessies vroeg ik dansers en zangers om een interactie op te bouwen met Jan. Jan heeft Chorea athetose, ook wel de dansziekte genoemd. Het uitgangspunt voor iedere interactie was de manier waarop Jan op een zandstrand alledaagse handelingen uitvoert. Jan trekt een T-shirt aan, tekent een vorm in het zand, kijkt naar de zon. Zijn gebaren en handelingen worden vervormd door abrupte en ongecontroleerde veranderlijke bewegingen, spasmes. Tijdens de oefensessies zochten we samen naar uitwisselingen met Jan waarbij de verschillen tussen spastisch en niet-spastisch oplossen in een kluwen van lichamen en een opeenvolging van lichamelijke, gevoelige en fragiele vormen van uitwisseling.

APHASIC READINGS
performance readings (2016-2017)

~~~ For this performance readings I work closely together with Tamara, a singer with aphasia. Aphasia is a speaking disorder. Aphasic individuals have difficulty forming speech as a result of brain damage. These readings are a play between an aphasic voice, her surrounding and a choir. Every reading explores how perception takes shape in a situation where existing forms of language are affected by speechlessness, the inability to form words. The reading begins with a text or description read by Tamara. She speaks together with a group of vocal improvisors that acoustically mimic the qualities of Tamara her voice.

AFTER IMAGE
performative workshop (2017)

~~~ Fall 2017, I guided performative workshops about the perception of colour, at De School. Visitors of Amsterdam Dance Event are guided through exercises that intensify the perception of colour. By covering the eyes and with a focus on embodied and multi-sensory ways of looking, we concentrated on seeing an after image. This performative workshop was guided by me and Linda and Alicia, two girls with vision impairment. The workshops took place in the light installations of Children of the Light and activated a moment of stillness within the club.

'I PROPOSE, WITHOUT EMOTION TO DECLAIM THE BIZARRE AND FANTASTIC SCENE WHICH YOU ARE ABOUT TO ENCOUNTER. YOU, PAY ATTENTION TO ITS CONTENTS AND BEWARE OF THE UNUSUAL IMPRESSION, WHICH IT WILL NOT FAIL TO LEAVE, LIKE A BRAND ON YOUR PERPLEX IMAGINATIONS. BE, IF YOU CAN, AS CALM AS I IN READING THESE LINES AND DO NOT BLUSH AT THE THOUGHT OF WHAT THE HUMAN HEART IS,
text and reading performance (2015)

~~~ Fall 2015, I did artistic research in the psychiatric institution GGZ Altrecht, Den Dolder, where I engaged myself in relations with people with a psychotic syndrome. These people see shapes that I did not see, hear voices that I did not hear and wear heavy wools in the midst of summer. I visited the therapy spaces and observed the interactions in the space. Nobody spoke to me, so and I had lemonade and silent conversations most of them muted by drugs, shyness or the incapacity to verbalize a coherent sentence. In situations where words are affected by hallucinations and delusions, language has no function to fulfill and I involved in relations through physical, sensuous and fragile means of exchange. It was not allowed to film or record audio in the therapy rooms. To communicate about my experience afterwards I wrote a text. For this text I modified the diagnostic vocabulary that is used to observe and analyse a psychotic syndrome. I performed the text as a performance reading. Whilst reading the text I positioned myself in a physically demanding posture that increased in intensity during the reading and affected the words I uttered.

(BEING) COLOR,
performance workshop (2014 - 2017)

~~~ This workshop is announced as performance. And this inserts a uncertainty. It was for the first time performed at Volksroom, Brussels, where we first, as part of the performance, took the stage away, so that everybody shared the same floor. In this performance, a workshop leader David, invites the viewers, with different dance backgrounds, to embody colours. The workshop activates an encounter between different (dance) vocabularies and evokes a negotiation about the different perceptions and interpretations of color and their affects on the body.

(SHE),
text, (2016)

~~~ This text is a modifeid and translated version of my thesis GEOGRAPHY OF AFFECTION. I replaced the subject of the thesis with the words (She). (She) is about the word and how words affect our perception of the other. (She) is a collection of existing texts that describe an identity (She). But through the use of strategies that mirror, invert, repeat or interrupt these texts, existing interpretations dissolve in favor of more porous propositions of what a (She), can be.

GEOGRAPHY OF AFFECTION
thesis (2016)

~~~ This thesis is written in 2016 for the Cure Master, a temporary master program (MA Fine Arts) at the Sandberg Institute. I wrote my thesis on an art practice that is characterized by the process based evocation of new (social) relations that take shape through porous, complex, physical and affectionate means of exchange. My research focuses on the performativity of the gestures, words and behaviour that the artist exchanges with her surroundings and the affects and relationships that these actions evoke.

RAZORBLADE / TOOTHBRUSH
collective reading sessions, (2015)

~~~ I initiated collective readings of interpretations written by social researchers, who interviewed persons with the speaking disorder aphasia. The purpose of these readings is to challenge interpretations, descriptions and forms of notation in the texts, through the lens of embodied reading.

GROUP PHOTO
performance (2015)

~~~ We initiated a series of instructions for a collective pose for a group photo of artists participating in the group show Does not Equal. Karoline Swiezynski, the graphic designer of the poster wanted to use the photo for the front cover of the exhibiton poster. Whilst shaping the artists into a soft and intimate kissing pose, a discusion about representation aroused. So we said that the group could choose their own pose. The search for a pose that everyone agrees upon, is represented in the selection of 4 group photos that are selected by the group. In collaboration with Mariko Kuwahara.


A lecture about the behavior of objects in a museum for cats (2014)

~~~ The text of the lecture consists of a selection of texts on cats, found on the internet, but the word 'cat' is replaced with the word (art) object. The lecture is a playful and poetic speculation about our relation with art objects as if it were living beings (cats).

ORANGE,
performance, (2014)

~~~ This performance is the outcome of a collective and playfull research into the perceptible qualities of color (orange) and how to translate those qualities in audible and physical forms. This research was shown in a private garden of Oscar Hammerstein lawyers during Open Garden Days as an ongoing performative exploration that lasted 5 hours.


A circle dance on a football field (2014)

~~~ In this performance mirroring, movement and repetition are practiced to activate an interaction with the participants of a sports day organised by a the Regenboog foundation, a homeless shelter in Amsterdam.

ALPHABET,
(2014)

~~~ Based on imitation of a video found on Youtube that represents a visible alphabet, a series of gestures that relate to the the sounds and rhythms of speech, 4 performers explore new ways of speaking with gestures in a performance that lasted 2 hours.

WORKING TOGETHER
performance & video (2012)

~~~ Working Together is made in collaboration with a social workplace that provides daytime activities for people with psychiatric disorders. In a period of two months a choreography was developed by mirroring various gestures from the production process of the social workplace. But instead of producing physical products, the 'workers' where asked to produce air, what leaded to a fictional assembly line that did not produce anything and leaves space open for imagination. The choreography was filmed and performed live. The workers reflect on their participation afterwards during video conversations.