Karel Tuytschaever


A man lives in the city.

He sits, he lies, he stands, he calls. He looks. He thinks, he talks, he fantasizes.

He looks. He doesn’t know what to do with himself.

Starting from the portrait of a man, TOM is an ode to looking.

The performance encourages the visitor to let go of his rational view and his own structured life and viewing codes. In this crossover, theater, visual arts and sound merge and reinforce each other. The performance TOM shows the intimacy and intensity of two male bodies in a refined and apparently simple image.

With TOM, Karel Tuytschaever wants to develop a language on stage in which the body is approached as an object. In addition to an artistic process, this performance is just as much a research. This so-called art as research develops a new visual language in which visual art and performing arts stimulate each other and seek a new form and relationship. We want to see all preliminary studies of contemporary visual art in the museum and have an explanation of how the work came into being. It is often the research that has almost become more important than the artistic output. Here the output, TOM the performance, is equal to the research. The order of the steps in the creation process has been very consciously chosen: (1) sound, (2) image and then ‘pass’ (3) embodiment. In the TOM performance, the body is stripped of the responsibility to transmit the content in the first place. That creates space, new freedom. The viewer is thus encouraged to create his own story, using the bodies as a means. The bodies function in relation to sound and image, and the viewer’s imagination. Narrative and viewing codes are questioned and developed with the aim of translating and investigating our contemporary communication habits, which are increasingly virtual. TOM is looking for a new form of theater that is at the same time close to our daily experiences. It explores the relationship between communication and a necessary physicality – because without a body we cannot communicate.