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BECOMING LILI
2012–2015

The first edition Room 01 – the AVATAR took place in october 2012 with the support of a.pass in Hotel Le Berger. The second edition Room 02 – identified SUBJECTS took place in October 2014 with the support of nadine, workspacebrussels and Beursschouwburg in Hotel Bloom. The third edition Room 03 – the CULT-BODY took place in April 2014 with the support of nadine vzw. in Hotel Le Berger.

With video material from the installations of the three editions, three videos have been edited (together with Sven Dehens) which were presented october 2015 during the festival Hors Pistes at Cinema Galeries in Brussels in collaboration with Centre Pompidou Paris, with the support of AJC! (ateliér jeunes cinéastes), la Féderation Wallonie-Bruxelles (Centre du Cinéma) and Pianofabriek.

Becoming Lili is an ongoing life soap opera archive with several episodes. To become Lili is an experience, a two hour participatory one-on-one performance in a closed hotel room. The participants are invited to spend time in an installed room where a conceptually selected wardrobe is offered as the material for experimentation. The participants analyze, by creating a personage form the offered material, aesthetic trends and their physical and psychological impact on one’s sense of self. From the most varied stereotyped glam-blonde-celebrity-woman clothes, wigs and accessories to the very flat-conforming-standardizing-bussinesswoman-men suits, watches and glasses, the room is a space where one can get under the skin of the other through wearing such clothes. The narration of that experimentation, being under the skin of the other me, could vary from a process of auto-fiction to identifications with a possible past life or a parody of someone present in the real world. The participants become instant characters in the soap opera, the film taking place in their imagination is witnessed by a camera.The encounters between performer and audience are filmed and edited into an archive of short-films in the form of soap operas.

The name Lili is here used as a synonym for stereotypical identity clichés and becomes a concept of the construction of identity itself, questioning if identity isn’t always a construct. The title Becoming Lili refers to the constant mode of becoming in identity-construction.

Becoming Lili wants to confront the participants or audience with a specific visual culture and its identity products: the contemporary 'Lilis'. Becoming hybrid characters, between fiction and reality, the participants are swimming or rather drowning in a pool of references and memories of their own visual culture. Looking at, how the embedded structure of society can be changed through a change in the construction of self and the understanding of identity, in the research process of this project, answers were found in anthropology. Anthropologists and philosophers like Claude Levi Strauss, Edouardo Vivieiros Castro or Michael Taussig, have described techniques of re-enactment or imitation in rituals of indigenous people as a form of understanding the core of their own and their colonists society, as an act of liberation or emancipation. Becoming Lili can be understood as a ritualistic act of channeling contemporary aesthetics and exploring the diversity of identities embedded in one's own visual culture and imagination.


read more about
THE PROJECT
THE LILI SYNDROME
OVER HOTELS EN KLEREN