NXT creatives

Clio Van Aerde

Akademie der Bildenden Künste Wien

Syndrome de la Décélération

In this site-specific solo-performance ‘Deceleration Syndrome’, the scenographer and performer Clio Van Aerde explores the anatomy of a room by walking backwards repeatedly through a previously defined, space oriented pathway; a lane on an athletics track. The performer is dressed in strong primary colours. She moves for the benefit of the space with her body, she underlines its architectural structure. Without the concept of time and lost within the repetition, she becomes infatuated with the space.

It takes time, patience and a certain amount of sensitivity for a space to find the enjoyment in observing the repetitive motion of the performer. With her movement, she leads the observer to contemplation, offering it as a contrast to everyday overstimulation. 

Artist Statement

In an Acceleration Society where everything has to happen very fast, walking as the trivial human movement becomes more and more insufficient to sustain the ambition, turning into a constrain of this acceleration. The aimless activity of decelerated walking is regarded as a waste of time.

In a meritocracy, the human can be seen as an athlete with a restless desire to surpass himself. The stadium is the symbol of the ultimate reduced strive for physical performance, and acceleration becomes the space without an aim; it is a movement in a circle with only one significance: how fast you run.

My artificial walking backwards stands as an absolute refusal of achievement and any form of acceleration. I take the senseless path seemingly without a goal. Facing the past, I walk towards the future to which my back is turned, but the one who moves in a circle actually knows what lies ahead of her.