A selection of works

Mikes Poppe created over 40 performances and installations since 2007. Below you can find a selection:


In search for Bas Jan Ader / Tribute to Bas Jan Ader (Mesdag collection, The Hague, 2018-19)

De profundis (Het Vlot, Ostend, 2017-18)

Je chie donc je suis (Troubleyn/Laboratorium, Antwerp, 2015)

Unterschrift / Traumverschmachtung / Heldendammerung / Ihrlicht (Museum M, Leuven, 2014)

Performance for Danny Devos ‘Picnic at Hanssenpark’  (De Bond, Brugge, 2014)

Power(flame) (Cinquantenair, Brussels, 2013)

A to A, D to D (Royal Academy, Antwerp, 2010)

Odi et amo (Fondazione 107, Torino, 2010)

Dum spiro, spero (Momentum festival, Brussels, 2010)

Gorilla Dialogue / Banana replicator act / BA NA NAS (Museum M, 2010)

Sum quod eris (Bozar, Brussels, 2010)

Via dolorosa Leuven (City Hall, Leuven 2009)

Shoot  (re-enactment Chris Burden) (Muhka, Antwerp, 2009)

Inspired by Chris Burden (Muhka, Antwerp, 2009)

3 adaptation studies (re-enactment Vito Acconci) (Auditorium UAntwerp, 2008)

Inspired by Vito Acconci  (Auditorium UAntwerp, 2008)

Dura Necessitas (Church Provinciestraat Antwerp, 2008)

Thriller (re-enactment Danny Devos) (Base Alpha Gallery, Antwerp, 2008)

Inspired by Danny Devos (Base Alpha Gallery, Antwerp, 2008)

Lips of Thomas (re-enactment Marina Abramovic)  (Troubleyn/Laboratorium, Antwerp, 2007)


             >> A full biography can be requested by mail <<


In search for Bas Jan Ader
Tribute to Bas Jan Ader


The sensation of the sea… in honor of Bas Jan Ader. Desperately looking for an artist lost at sea. This performance (2 November 2018) was a commission by Mesdag Collection and Van Gogh Museum (The Hague & Amsterdam, NL) for the group exhibition ‘Sensation of the Sea’, curated by Joanna De Vos (2018). A research video was presented @ Mesdag Museum.


I install myself on a boat and drift on the water.
I constantly shout “Bas Jan Ader, Safe Our Souls, SOS”.

Video


De profundis


"De Profundis" (2017) is a commission by the curators ‘THE RAFT / ART IS (not) LONELY’ curated by Jan Fabre & Joanna De Vos and Muzee (Oostend, BE). The performance started on 10 November 2017 @  Court House, Canadaplein 1/a, 8400 Oostend, Belgium and ended on  29 November - 6 pm (liberated by curator Joanna Devos in the presence of judge Greet Vlaeminck).


In the court house of Ostend,

I will attach myself to a block of Carrara marble.

Day and night, 24/7,

I will live and work in this space.

Eating, sleeping, drawing.

Working. No phone, no computer.

With hammer and chisel, I will try to set myself free.



Je chie donc je suis
(neon installation)


A permanent art work/installation for Jan Fabre’s Laboratorium, Antwerp (BE)  — photo: Pat Verbruggen



Das Iconoclast:
Ihrlicht / Heldendammerung / Traum-verschmachtung / Unterschrift


Four  interventions @ Museum M (Leuven, BE) during the exhibition ‘Ravage, Kunst en cultuur in tijden van conflict’
31 July , 1, 2 & 3 August 2014; in collaboration with 30CC Leuven — photos: Marisse De Cuyper


#1 (Ihrlicht)

I am dressed in a white ghillie suit.
I walk through the museum. A number of books are attached under both my feet.

I sound an alarm.
I repeat this action for an undetermined time.





#2 (Heldendammerung)

I am dressed in a white ghillie suit.

I spread a camouflage netting.

I install a tripod with an archery target.

I attach a bood (Bible, Coran, Gaddafi’s Green Book and others) on the target.
I put on black lipstick and kiss the books.

I repeat this action for an undetermined time.


#3 (Traumverschmachtung)

I am dressed in a white ghillie suit and a helmet with a book attached.

I spread a camouflage netting.

I install plaster statues of sitting donkeys on which images of ‘heroes’ are printed.

I put each statue in a linnen bag after which I crush the statues with my book.

I repeat this action for an undetermined time.


#4 (Unterschrift)

I am dressed in a white ghillie suit.

I spread a camouflage netting.

I put down books on the netting.

With a hammer I drill pencils into the books creating a rune sign.

Performance for Danny Davos
‘Picknick at Hanssenpark’


'Picnic at Hanssenspark' is an exhibition by the Belgian performance artist Danny Devos (aka DDV) in De Bond in Brugge (BE). The original Hanssenspark is located in Vilvoorde, the town where DDV was born.  For this exhibition the Hanssenspark was rebuilt on a 1/10 scale inside De Bond.


During the opening and closing events performances were held in ‘the parc”. by Boris Nieslony (DE), Ria Pacquée (BE) and Nigel Rolfe (IE). On Sunday 29 June 2014 by Peter Fengler (NL), Douglas Park (UK) and Mikes Poppe (BE).


I am dressed in a green ghillie suit with hood.

A bronze sculpture of a puti is attached to my leg with a solid metal chain.

I keep as low to the ground as possible while crossing ‘the parc’ without being seen. 

The puti follows me from close and leaves its mark behind me.

Power(flame)


This project is a temporary installation whereby a kind of flamethrower is used, which (on my command) produces 10-meter high flame (during app. 1s).


This performative landmark was shown at Brussels’ annual Museum Night (2 March 2013) where the flame was installed on top of the triumphal arch of the Cinquantenaire (built to celebrate Belgium’s independence and now hosting the Military Museum).


The power flame produces light signals that can be seen from great distance. The rhythm of the signal sequences refers to the morse code for “SOS” (save our souls) (… ---…) where the “empty space” (=the silence between eruptions) forms the code sequence.

photos: Marisse De Cuyper

A to A, D to D


In the frame of the exhibition Club Moral RVSTD, Poppe presented a solo performance at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts (Antwerp, BE), 25 November 2010. Lectures and performances by Johan Pas, Wim Van Mulders, Lieven Seghers, Mihèle Matin, Meggy Rustamova, Nel Bonte, Mikes Poppe e.a. — photos: Joke De wilde — video: Johan Pas 


I kneel in front of a plaster bust,
I hold a rock in my hands.

With my head and the rock, I crush the buste.

I repeat the words “Ashes to ashes, dust to dust” until the bust is crushed.





Odi et amo


I stand in front of a white pillar of the museum.

I use fresh tomatoes and a megaphone.

With my forehead I crush the tomatoes onto the wall.

I create a temporary ‘Shroud for Turin’.

I repeat the works “sex, drugs and rock-'n-roll”.

I repeat myself for an undetermined time.


Performance held at Galleria Fondazione 107 (Torino, IT) on 5 November 2010 in the frame of a group exhibition ‘Andata e Ritorno’.

Dum Spiro, spero


I lay on a bench while a tattoo artist does his job.

I am dressed in a black overall and balaclava.

I repeat following words until the work is finished.

“Nous voulons chanter l'amour du danger,

l'habitude de l'énergie et de la témérité.

We want to sing the love of danger,

the habit of energy and fearlessness.

Wij willen de liefde voor het gevaar verheerlijken,

de houding van wilskracht en stoutmoedigheid.”

(Marinetti, Futuristisch Manifest, 1909)


Performance held on 6 June 2010 during Momentum Festival, @ Bellevue Brewery ( Brussels, BE) — photos: Elsbeth Neyens


Gorilla dialogue / Banana replicator act / BA NA NAS


“Gorilla dialogue”, “The banana replicator act”, “BA NA NAS” are 3 performances/internventions  in dialogue with the artworks of Angus Fairhurst @Museum M, Leuven, BE.


30, 31 July and 1 August 2010: in collaboration with 30CC Leuven  & detheatermaker — photos: Elsbeth Neyens



#1 (Gorilla dialogue)

I am dressed in a banana costume.

I carry drawing pencils and paper with me.

I wander around in the exhibition space.

I lay down on the floor in front of Angus Fairhurst’s gorilla costume (the costume he used for a performance video “A cheap and ill-fitting gorilla suit (1995)” as well as his photograph “Pietà” (1996).

I make a drawing of a banana.

I carefully slide a drawing in the direction of the gorilla and slide back again.

I repeat this action for an undetermined time.





#2 (Banana replicator act)

I am dressed in a banana costume.

I carry color markers, drawing paper and a bunch of bananas.

I wander around in the exhibition space.

I install myself in front of Angus Fairhurst bus stop “Shelter” (2006)

I eat a banana.

I place the banana peel on the drawing paper.

I trace the contours of the banana peel.

I eat the next banana.

I repeat this action for an undetermined time.

#3 (BA NA NAS)

We are dressed in a banana costume.

We wander around in the exhibition space.

We take place in front of Angus Fairhurst art work “Billboard, Everything but the outline blacked-in” (2003).

We shout as loud as possible to each other: “BA NA NAS”.

We repeat this action for an undetermined time.


Sum quod eris


‘Sum quod eris’ was selected for the Canvascollectie/collection RTBF in 2010 and consists of a series of poetical/terroristical performative actions —with various inspiration sources and references— that Poppe executed an a daily basis in BOZAR Brussels. 


The series of actions took place between 6 May and 7 June 2010 and was made possible with the support of detheatermaker — camera & editing: Sven Goyvaerts



Action#2

I am dressed in a black overall and balaclava.

I carry a ghetto blaster on my shoulder with the sound of a cheering audience.

I wander through the exhibition space during opening night.

I repeat this action for an undetermined time.

Action#4

I am dressed in a black overall, balaclava and carry a rifle.

Attached on a piece of string to my right middle finger is a small can of tomato concentrate.

In the exhibition space I do the ‘Roman’ salute. 

I repeat this action for an undetermined time.

Action#5

I am dressed in a black overall, balaclava and carry a rifle.

I wander through the exhibition space.

I raise my hands.

I spit out coins in the direction of my audience.

I repeat this action for an undetermined time.


Video

Action#6

I am dressed in a black overall, balaclava and carry a rifle.

I hide myself behind the museum walls.

I wind up toy mice and set them free in the exhibition space.

I repeat this action for an undetermined time.



Video

Action#7

I am dressed in a black overall and balaclava.

I use a child’s bicycle to travel through the exhibition space.

I ride off the stair.

I repeat this action for an undetermined time.




Action#10

I am dressed in a black overall, balaclava and carry a rifle.

I hide in the exhibition space.

I put on red lipstick.

I kiss portrait of performance artists.

I fold airplanes of these photos.

I let them fly in the exhibition space.

I repeat this action for an undetermined time.





Action#11

I am dressed in a black overall, balaclava and carry a rifle.

I wander through the exhibition space.

I sit on a chair reserved for visitors.

I open a can of bear (Cara-Pils) and a bottle of quality champagne.

I sip the beer.

I sip the champagne.

I repeat this action for an undetermined time.

Action#14

I am dressed in a black overall, balaclava and carry a rifle.

I wander through the exhibition space.

I install a confetti bomb in the entrance hall.

I let the bomb explode.

I repeat this action for an undetermined time.


Action#15

I am dressed in a black overall, balaclava and carry a rifle.

I wander through the exhibition space with a jar.

I stand in a corner.

I urinate in the jar.

I hide this jar in the exhibition space and leave. 



Action#16

I am dressed in a black overall, balaclava and carry a rifle.

I wander through the exhibition space with a handheld fog horn.

I spread my arms and sound the horn.

I repeat repeat this action for an undetermined time.




Action#17

I am dressed in a black overall, balaclava and carry a rifle.

I wander through the exhibition space with a pillow.

I take of my shoes and socks and lay down
on the floor against a wall.

I fall asleep.

I repeat this action for an undetermined time. 




Action#18

I am dressed in a black overall, balaclava and carry a rifle.

I find a way into the museum after opening hours.

I walk through the exhibition space with a flashlight.

I look at the works of art with a magnifying glass and sniff them.

Action#22

I am dressed in a black overall, balaclava and carry a rifle.

I wander through the exhibition space with a fried chicken.

I put on white gloves.

I squat and eat the chicken.

I repeat this action for an undetermined time.





Via Dolorosa


Two projects in two different cities in Belgium in the frame of the exhibitions ‘Passionele Moord/Crime Passionel’ (org. AmuseeVous).


#Leuven / Louvain

This performance that resulted in a series of 14 ‘state portraits’, took place on 15 May 2009 in the historic City Hall of Leuven (BE) and was a tribute to the Flemish Master Rogier van der Weyden — photographer: Bart Grietens — Mistress of Ceremonies: Chantal Yzermans — video still: Sven Goyvaerts 


I am painted like a clown.

I subject myself to ‘dunking’: with force, my head is submerged in a tub of water. 

A photographer makes a portrait of me 

with Goldberg’s book ‘Performance: live art since the 60’s’.

I repeat this action 14 times.


#Tournai

In this series of 14 actions (at Maison de la Culture, Tournai, 20 November 2009), Poppe attempts to make a personal synthesis of the performance art history and the Stations of Cross: “Christ as the very first performance artist?” — Master of Ceremonies: Jeroen Theys — photos: Philip Van Ootegem


I am dressed in a black blazer.

I  — I subject myself to dunking (Jesus is condemned to death).

II — I carry a large stack of books on Performance history (Jesus takes up his cross).

III — With the books pressed against my body, I let myself fall of the stairs (Jesus falls for the first time).

IV  — I chant Marinetti’s ‘Futurist Manifest’ using a megaphone (Jesus meets his Mother).

V — I position myself between my audience and drink a cup of tea with a madeleine (Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus carry the Cross).

VI — I shrub my hands with a scouring brush (Veronica wipes the face of Jesus).

VII — With the books pressed against my body, I let myself fall of the stairs for a second time (Jesus falls for the second time).

VIII — I read fragments of an art history book to a stuffed parrot (Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem).

IX — With the books pressed against my body, I let myself fall of the stairs for a third time (Jesus falls for the third time).

X — I cut pieces out of my shirt (Jesus is stripped of his garments).

XI — I make a fist and try to push it into my mouth as much as possible (Jesus is nailed to the Cross).

XII — I pin different kind of banknotes to my clothes (Jesus dies on the Cross).

XIII — Using a razor blade and while looking into the eyes of my audience, I cut small incisions in my cheeks (Jesus is taken down from the Cross).

XIV — I put my signature on the side of my right inner thigh (Jesus is laid in the tomb).

While showing my signature to my audience, I stay seated for an undetermined time.

Shoot (re-enactment Chris Burden)


On 7 April 2009 Poppe re-enacted for an audience present in the Antwerp Museum of Contemporary Art (MuHKA) ‘Shoot’ (1971) for which Chris Burden is infamously known.


With many thanks to Ruth Renders, Liliane Dewachter, the MuHKA-team and hosts, Elsemieke Scholte, Mark Geurden — video & editing: Sven Goyvaerts


Chris Burden:

“I had an intuitive sense that being shot is as American as apple pie. 

We see people being shot on TV, 

we read about it in the newspaper. 

Everybody has wondered what it's like. 

So I did it.”



Video

Inspired by Chris Burden


On 9 April 2009, two days after his re-enactment of Burden’s ’Shoot’ @ MuKA,  Poppe presented a tribute performance  —an inspired by project— in the same space.


With many thanks to Ruth Renders, Liliane Dewachter, the MuHKA-team and hosts — photos: Bart Grietens


I sit in the exhibition space of MuHKA with a plastic Lidl bag.

I take an onion out of the bag.

I take off the skin of the onion.

I eat the onion.

I use a red marker to draw a shot wound on my arm.

I show it to the audience with pride.

I put on a balaclava.

I write ART WILL MOVE YOU with spray paint on the wall.

I run away from the space, leaving the audience behind.

While running I set off smoke bombs in the space.

The alarm goes off.




Three adaptation studies (re-enactment Vito Acconci)


On 16 December 2008 Poppe re-eancted Vito Acconci’s performance ‘Three adaptation studies’ (1970) in an auditorium of the Antwerp University/Artesis  (BE) — photos: Bart Grietens


“In Three Adaptation Studies, Acconci physically resists three very simple, yet slightly uncomfortable actions. In the first, the artist, his eyes covered with a scarf, tries to dodge a series of balls that are being thrown at him. In the second, he tries to keep his eyes wide open while his face is full of soap. And in the third, he tries inserting his entire fist in his mouth. In this way, he imposes the senses of touch, sight and taste on actions that involve some difficulty or adversity.”




In her essay on Poppe TRUE OR FALSE OR SOMETHING ELSE (2009), Edith Doove  writes:

““Poppe sees these re-enactments as a kind of exercise which goes further than a simple imitation since form and content are central to it. Through the re-enactment he has learned a lot about presentation, context, timing, concentration, the theatrical and thus about the original performance in itself. Poppe takes an especially original approach when he chooses to re-enact Three Adaptation Studies and Trademarker by Vito Acconci that only exist as so called ‘video performances’ as he is interested in testing these live before an audience.” 



Inspired by Vito Acconci


On 16 December 2008 Poppe re-eancted Vito Acconci’s performance ‘Three adaptation studies’ in an auditorium of the Antwerp University/Artesis  (BE) — photos: Bart Grietens


I am wearing a white shirt and boxers.

I cover myself with a woolen blanket.

I shave my legs with an old razor blade.

I carefully place the hairs on an overhead projector.

I take a jar of milk and sip.

I gargle with the milk and spit it out toward the auditorium's blackboard.

I put on a white hood on which a Dali moustache has been embroidered.

I take a bucket filled with gummy balls.

I stand on the auditorium’s desk; the projector’s light blinds me.

I try to throw the balls in the direction of a drum place between my audience.

I repeat this action for an undetermined time.




Dura necessitas


The performance ‘Dura necessitas’ (The harsh necessity) was made, in situ, for the abandoned Dominican cloister in the Provinciestraat (Antwerp, BE) and executed on 6 December 2008 — thanks to ‘hoist and knots’-expert André Buyssens — photos: Bart Grietens


I am covered in woolen blankets and chained to a hoist.

I lay on a bed of butter.

I hoist myself —firstly while sliding over the floor—, until I am suspended in the air.

I remain suspended for an undetermined time.

Thriller (re-enactment DDV, Danny Devos)


On 27 March 2008 Poppe re-enacted ‘Thriller’, a performance by Danny Devos (1979) in Base-Alpha Gallery (Antwerp BE) —  photos: André Buyssens — with many thanks to Team Base-Alpha


Danny Devos:

“I stood facing a wall. 

A razor-blade was pressed between my lips and the wall.

I stood there as long as I could.”



Inspired by Danny Devos


In Base-Alpha Gallery (Antwerp, BE) Poppe created an ‘inspired  by’-performance, presented to an audience on 31 March 2008 — with many thanks to Team Base-Alpha


I am strapped in woolen blankets which are covered in butter.

I sit on a chair.

I let myself drop on the floor.

I crawl through the gallery space over a red carpet.

I end up on the street in the gutter.



Lips of Thomas (re-enactment Marina Abramovic)


On 6  December 2007 Poppe re-enacted ‘Lips of Thomas’, Marina Abramovic’s iconic performance  dating 1975)
Location: theatre stage @ Troubleyn/Laboratorium —  photos: Bart Grietens 


Marina Abramovic:

“I slowly eat 1 kilo of honey with a silver spoon.

I slowly drink 1 liter of red wine out of a crystal glass.

I break the glass with my right hand.

I cut a five pointed star on my stomach with a razor blade.

I violently whip myself until I no longer feel any pain.

I lay down on a cross made of ice blocks.

The heat of a suspended space heater pointed at my stomach causes the cut star to bleed.

The rest of my body begins to freeze.

I remain on the ice cross for 30 minutes until the audience interrupts the piece by removing the ice blocks from underneath.”


Thomas Crombez witnessed this re-enactment  and describes the event in CREPUSCULAIR THEATER, PERFORMANCE EN MEER OMSTREEKS 1980 : 

 “In december 2007 voerde de Antwerpse Mikes Poppe een re-enactment op van Lips of Thomas, de iconische performance van Marina Abramovic uit 1975. Poppe trachtte haar geritualiseerde handelingen zo accuraat mogelijk na te doen. (…) Tot er iets onverwachts gebeurde. Een vrouw uit het publiek, die blijkbaar een andere performance van Abramovic ́ in haar hoofd had (wellicht ‘Rhythm 0’ uit 1974) dacht dat dit het moment was waarop de toeschouwers de vrijheid kregen om om het even wat te doen met het lichaam van de performer. Ze begon de resterende honing op de gekerfde ster uit te smeren, tot enkele andere aanwezigen haar stopten en uit de zaal verwijderden.”     

“Het publiek greep nog een tweede keer in, namelijk door Poppe na twee uur van de ijsblokken weg te halen. Op het eerste gezicht is dat méér in overeenstemming met het origineel, want ook bij Abramovic begon de wonde door de warmte van de straler opnieuw heviger te bloeden, waarop het publiek haar uiteindelijk uit haar precaire situatie bevrijdde. Maar ook hier speelt een soort historische dcalage: bij Abramovic werd reeds na een half uur ingegrepen, terwijl Poppe twee uur bleef liggen.”


to be completed…