Lawrence Malstaf

Shrink 01995

Electronic Language International Festival

Two large, transparent plastic sheets and a device that gradually sucks the air out from between them leave the body (in this case the artist himself) vacuum-packed and vertically suspended. The transparent tube inserted between the two surfaces allows the person inside the installation to regulate the air flow. As a result of the increasing pressure between the plastic sheets, the surface of the packed body gradually freezes into multiple micro-folds. For the duration of the performance, the person inside moves slowly and changes positions, which vary from an almost embryonic position to one resembling a crucified body.

The work of Lawrence Malstaf (born 1972) can be situated on the borderline between the visual and the theatrical. After having studied industrial design, Lawrence Malstaf starts of in theatre. He designs scenographies for choreographers and directors as Benoît Lachambre, Meg Stuart and Kirsten Delholm. Soon he develops more into installation and performance-art with a strong focus on movement, coincidence, order and chaos. In 2000 he makes a series of sensorial rooms for individual visitors (Nemo Observatorium, Mirror, Periscope/Horizon Machine). Later he creates larger mobile environments dealing with space and orientation, often using the visitor as a co-actor (Orbit, Nevel, Compass, Boreas, Transporter, Territorium). His projects often involve advanced technology as a point of departure or inspiration, but also to activate the installations. Lawrence Malstaf exhibits internationally, and in 2008 he won the Witteveen + Bos – prize for Art + Technology (NL), in 2009 he received the Golden Nica at Prix Ars Electronica (A) and in 2010 he won the Excellence Prize at the 13th Japan Media Arts Festival in Tokyo (JP). His most recent installation, “PAVILION 02011” had its world première at Festival a/d Werf in Utrecht (NL) in May 2011.