Myriam Van Imschoot
Lives and works in Brussels.
Myriam Van Imschoot makes performances, creates sound poetry and vocal pieces, exhibits video and sound installations. She holds a unique position in the Belgian art field, moving between institutional fields and media, with a keen interest to experiment with contexts when not creating her own.
As an artist she first started working with archives as her medium. The duet Pick up Voices (2007) with Christine De Smedt and the sound installation Black Box (2009) show an interest in the performative potential of archival documents and the construction of alternative historiographies through them. Her solo Living Archive (2011) was a personal testimony of what could be any 'girl living next-door with a passion for mixed tapes'. Acclaimed for its originality, it was shown in Kaaitheater, Vooruit and Kunstencentrum Buda, among others.
Fascinated by phenomena of long-distance communication, Van Imschoot embarked on a cycle of works that deal with yodelling, crying, waving and bird calls. Hola Hu (2013) and Kucku (2014) are deconstructive yodel duets that reframe folklore as it gets transmitted and altered. The yodel duets tour in galleries, theatres and concert halls, sometimes accompanied by the video installation Yodel Portraits. Video is also the medium for LIFT and Efemeriden, shot at the skyscraper where she lives.
Van Imschoot occupies an idiosyncratic place in the larger art field. Her approach cuts through media, nurtured by an interest in overlooked gestures, phenomena and voices. But it also makes her experiment with various contexts, like public space in the vocal performance Vozes de Magaio (2011) for the mountainous region in North Portugal and Singelstemmen (2012) for the urban space in Rotterdam.
In parallel to her performance work she directed nine films, Le Cadeau (2018) being the last film in a series on vocalists (48', distribution Argos). Currently, she is preparing a new field of research on 'new polyphonies' and their social and political implications for listening. She directed In koor!, a musical theater (with Cie De Koe, produced by Campo) and is regularly invited to teach voice workshops or workshops on sound poetry with Marcus Bergner.
With What Nature Says Myriam Van Imschoot made her first vocal performance for six performers who, by means of their voice and
body alone imitate their 'natural surroundings'. Bird calls but also chain saws play a considerable role. In this 'eco-fair' tale that draws from field recordings Van Imschoot further pursues her desire to stage 'forms' that speak of the attempt by humans and animals alike to communicate with a sense of urgency and impossibility. What Nature Says premiered in February 2015 at Kaaitheater.