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Contemporary demons? “These are the things we do to ourselves to keep up with the times.” In his work, performing performer Camiel Corneille often seeks the limits of human ability. For example, for Bosch Parade he is creating Rad van Wonden|r, a gyroscopic installation depicting our desire for the perfect human being. “The search for perfection is often the cruelest torture.”

Abstracted contemporary problems, that’s how Camiel would describe his work. In his creative process, he can draw on various disciplines; after studying fine arts at the HKU, he followed circus training at Codarts – in his installations and performances, he now merges these two worlds. Camiel: “My productions are multidisciplinary and are always about people. About the world we create around us. About the symbiosis with the systems and devices we invent and become dependent on. And about how we try to keep ourselves humane in it. That conflict and quest is what I want to show.”

The desire for the perfect person is a great example of that struggle. Camiel: “We all want to be perfect, on social media everyone is preoccupied with: how do I look? That search for perfection is often the cruelest torture, so both a blessingand a curse. I had been toying with the idea of depicting that for some time and when Miesjel van Gerwen asked if I wanted to sign up for Bosch Parade, it turned out to fit very well with this year’s theme: Contemporary Demons. These are the things we do to ourselves to keep up with the times.” 

For his Rad van Wonden|r , Camiel was inspired by Leonardo da Vinci’s Man of Vitruvius. Camiel: “With that drawing of a man in a circle, da Vinci wanted to demonstrate the ideal human dimensions. But at the same time, it looks very much like a wheel of torture. I found that a fascinating contradiction, which is also visible in my gyroscopic installation. I try to keep myself standing in the three intertwining circles of Rad van Wonden|r. This creates a very beautiful image of the perfect human being. But also a very intense image of someone suffering.” 

To realise the kinetic object, Camiel is working with welding artist Edwin Schulte. Camiel: “We have now finished a first version, horizontal on the floor. With that we can start rehearsing physically, see if everything is safe. After this, we will build it on a raft, which, by the way, is also a circle. And we’ll assemble that in the Garden of Earthly Delights, with the help of some volunteers.” 

The performance during Bosch Parade will demand quite a bit physically from Camiel (or another performer). Camiel: “The parade lasts at least an hour and a half, and all that time you are balancing in those three circles. In order not to rely entirely on your arms and legs, and to be able to take a rest sometimes, we make a harness in the installation. But even then it will be challenging, here too blessing and curse come together.”