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Kunstraum exhibitions

Dangerous Bodies: Barbara Kapusta
12 October - 16 November
(PV 11 October 6:30 – 9pm)

To Ailsa Rock
Beatrice Loft Schulz and Lindsay McMillan
14 June – 28 July

Something soft: Julie Béna, Susie Green, Deniz Ünal & Zoe Williams
13 April – 25 May (PV 12 April, 6.30–9pm)

Nils Alix-Tabeling
Le Bétyle d’Ail
19 January – 22 February 2019

Anna Hulačová
Graceful ride
29 Sept – 24 Nov 2018

Shelly Nadashi
The Avocado Vampire
26 April – 9 June 2018

Mary Hurrell
2 (Aerial)
9 March – 14 April 2018

Von Calhau!
PHANTOM BLOT BACK TO ATTACK / MANCHA NEGRA VOLTA A ATACAR
12 January - 10 February 2018

Merike Estna
fragments from the shattered toe
29 September – 25 November 2017

Jennifer Tee
Structures of Recollection and Perseverance
1 July – 9 September 2017

Sophie Jung
Producing My Credentials
14 April – 27 May 2017

Olivier Castel
Communicating vessels
25 November 2016 - 11 February 2017

Vanitè
9 September – 5 November 2016

Jumana Emil Abboud
Haunted Springs and Water Demons in Palestine
14 May – 30 July 2016

Dorine van Meel
Disobedient Children
23 October – 19 December 2015

New Pabulum
Aline Bouvy and Simon Davenport
6 September - 10 October 2015

Alex Cecchetti
The printing house of hell
27 June - 22 August 2015

Barbara Visser
Manual/2: The Patient Artist
25 April – 13 June 2015

Unlearning to speak
Tyler Coburn, Luca Frei, Joachim Koester, Jacopo Miliani
28 February - 11 April 2015

Nicoline van Harskamp
25 October - 13 December 2014

Zin Taylor
The Tangental Zigzag
14 June – 26 July 2014

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Nils Alix-Tabeling
Le Bétyle d’Ail
19 January – 22 February 2019


– Download the Le Bétyle d’Ail libretto text –

Kunstraum’s year-programme opens with Nils Alix-Tabeling’s Le Bétyle d’Ail, a performance over two nights followed by an exhibition of its sculptural and scenic remainders alongside video documentation. Le Bétyle d’Ail merges the format of an operetta with that of traditional Japanese Kabuki theatre, the performance featuring two protagonists – one played by an actor and the other by an inanimate sculpture, the soundtrack depicting the unfolding perceptions of both.

Inspired by Marcel Aymé’s novel ‘La Vouivre’, the script depicts the love relationship between a mythical creature from French pagan folklore, and a macabre sculpture of a fallen medieval soldier. Together both characters compose one body, the rotten soldier merging with and digesting the slithery creature, her dress forming her lair and her lair composed of his reorganised body parts. The living dead and the immortal fairy engage in a lighthearted conversation on the parameters of their mutual immortality.

The operetta unfolds thematics of sexuality, desire and frivolity, seen here as a positive and critical notion, as opposed to dogmatic understandings of these terms. The piece salutes queer authors like Sidonie Gabrielle Colette and Paul Verlaine in a grotesque and macabre celebration of the human body in its glorious grossness and chthonic drives toward their inner cavities, seen as spaces of merging together and organic conversations.

Tabeling takes the traditional Kabuki role of a kuroko within the operetta, serving as a visible stage hand, his role  to accentuate the performance’s delivery, manually adjusting the lighting and heightening the magical aura of the performance.

Le Bétyle d’Ail was first performed in Tabeling’s apartment during Art Brussels 2018. It was commissioned and curated by Komplot, Brussels with support from Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles & Ville de Bruxelles/Stad Brussel. The piece is acted by Andrea Baglione, with music by Mathieu Levet.