Bildraum is part of the 'Big in Belgium' series, featuring six of the country’s many outstanding theatre and performance companies. This work is likely to be most people’s first exposure to anything of its kind, so if you are looking for a completely new experience this might well be it.

In the manner of an architectural and interior design modeller he assembles the products of his imagination for all to see

The concept is billed as “Atelier Bildraum”, which translates as “studio picture space” and perfectly describes the environment in which this event takes place. The Old Lab at Summerhall, with its raked seating, enables the audience to become observers of this baffling but ithoughtful piece of experimental theatre.

Architect Steve Salembier and photographer Charlotte Bouckaert collaborate in generating this event. His equipment consists of lengths of wood, painted white, and miniature pieces of furniture; she has a camera. In the manner of an architectural and interior design modeller he assembles the products of his imagination for all to see. These are then photographed using different angles and various focal lengths and exposure times. Instant projection to the back wall enables everyone to see the images. As though not content with his first attempt Salembier sometimes goes back and makes changes to his initial design, reinterpreting his original concept. These in turn are also photographed. At times he plays the guitar and other sounds and music also accompany the installation process. Sometimes this accompaniment works in obvious conjunction with the floor activity and at other times is more suggestive of mood.

The couple see themselves as ‘technicians of the imagination’ and for the audience there is certainly plenty to mull over throughout, whether it be the totality of the experience or the task of interpreting the moment. It won’t have you on the edge of your seat, but it’s possible to sit back and simply view in wonder. Bildraum lasts only forty minutes, but if the time is short the memory of it will probably be long.  

Reviews by Richard Beck

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The Blurb

An architect and a photographer compose an audiovisual story live on stage. By reconstructing spaces in which memories once took place, different storylines slowly unfold, like browsing a photo album created on the spot. The two performers act as technicians of the imagination using architectural models, live photography, sounds and music to unite the visual and spacial into a surprising performance. A brilliant, award-winning original show where the past and present seem to coincide and the audience themselves gradually develop the connections in between.

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