Karel van Laere
The Non-Present Performer contemplates on the following question: What would it be like if, just like a computer, you could switch off your body every now and then? No thoughts, no stimulants, no movement or feeling, what would this state result in?
The closest to what I was looking for seemed to be anaesthesia or an epidural. So I approached an anaesthesist. My idea to do a live performance under anaesthesia proved to be impossible. However, the anaesthesist did convince me of the power of hypnosis in this context.
The result of all this became a performance in which I, hypnotized, handed over my body to a choreographer and three dancers surrounded by a live audience. I asked the dancers to look for physical borders, to experiment, and to make me the subject of their research as the “Non-Present Performer”. Afterwards, there was a post-show discussion with hypnotist Joris Waayer, anaesthetist Rutger van Leersum, the dancers and the audience.