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2010 Ghost Performance: HEALTH
Incubate, Tilburg, Nederland

At concerts I often see Jeroen Doorenweerd. Most of the times he stands at the extreme left side of the venue, positioning himself right between the band and the audience, between the action and the reaction.
When I speak to him he tells me about his project Let It Flow, the small boat he went on a trip with. He tried to visually document the slow ride, but entered a storm “the only thing you could do is to keep your nose at the waves”. After our conversation there was a cloudburst. All the notes from my book that remind me of the conversation are gone. Destroyed by the elements.
Health is a bright band from the dark sides of Los Angeles. They play loud noise-rock with tribalist tendencies, creating trippy electronic textures. Blending 80’s opposite genres post-punk and mutant disco in a contemporary kicks-mix. Think of a Arthur Russell remix of This Heat. It’s all about texture and excitement. When they perform the band grabs its instruments (bass, guitar, drums and a lot of noise-pedals) in a shamanic way and totally becomes one, bowing and moving and working hard like janitor of noises. Health performances are of a rare intensity. Their hardness is hard to explain and extremely hard to document. It’s a band you’d rather want to hear live than on record. There’s always something missing then.
Ghost Performance is a video registration of a Health concert at De Affaire, an outdoor festival in Nijmegen. It’s a plain and very clean recording. But Doorenweerd brings us to the excitement by using a small trick of perspective. He put the cameras between the audience and the band. Normally this is the place where no one is allowed. And exactly this no-go area is the small space where the Durkheimian collective effervescence is being created, a state that alters the conditions of the psychic activity. Classical sociologist Durkheim describes it as: “The place where vital energies become hyper-excited, the passions more intense, the sensations more powerful”. And indeed some of these effects are produced at this moment. Man does not recognize himself; he feels somehow transformed and in consequence transforms his surroundings. ”This is the place where culture and meaning are being made, where profane transforms into sacral”.
How do you use this principle? How do you put something from realityinto a new reality, creating a new reality? Maybe that’s one of the themes of Doorenweerds work. For example he built a swimming pool in a jail. The installation of Ghost Performance premiered in an old industrial complex at the Incubate festival where the artist also once did a performance for driftingcars, which literally put you in the middle of the meaning-process.
At one side, at the screens, you see the band Health performing. At the other side you see the audience, undergoing it. The band is giving. The audience is giving, but those are two different kinds of concentration. This brings you, as a new audience watching the recorded audience, at a point between the cerebral registration of the concert and the celebration of the moment you are now. It’s a simple change of perspective that perceives new perspectives.
Ghost Performance combines contemporary music and contemporary art in a new way, not working from a linear oeuvre, but from the context of both worlds. The artist does this by mastering the setting. He combines the craftsmanship of a clean visual presentation with a very clean way of situationalism. The work is an ultra-precise vision of a concert. It’s exactly the place where you want to be forever.
Joost Heijthuijsen