What happens when we close our eyes and speak with the hands? Approximation centers tactility in search for a haptic communication. Differently from the other senses, touching is always mutual: one touches and is touched. Thus touch is a reciprocal sense. In Approximation, players become performers and artwork at once.

The work creates a setting where two people enter an inner dialogue. Participants sit in front of each other, connecting their hands to an elastic net which constrains their action to a range of movement, acting like external muscles. With their eyes closed, the two participants begin a tactile exploration on each other’s face, copying each move, in a mirrored fashion.

The piece was first performed at the KABK, Royal Academy of Art in The Hague (2012), together with Roel Heremans. Then presented at ‘Expanded Performance‘ program at Stroom Den Haag, in December, 2012 and TodaysArt Festival 2013. Later at the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, during the symposium The Deepest Sense (2014); at Quartair (The Hague, 2017) and at Tetem (Enschede, 2017-2018). In all events, the responses to the work were striking, moving both participants (those who experience from inside) and audience (those who do not dare but enjoy watching it)

Approximation was the opening performance of The Deepest Sense Symposium, On Tactility in the Arts and Sciences from the Early Modern Period to the Present Day at the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam (June 26th, 2014). Keynote speakers were: Constance Classen, David Howes, Garmt Dijksterhuis and Monika Wagner. With thanks to Caro Verbeek and Roel Heremans.

Approximation took in a new version for the show ‘Performance, Objects, Bodies’ at Quartair (The Hague, Sep-Oct, 2017) and ‘Performance, Objects, Bodies‘ at TETEM (Enschede, Nov 2017-Jan 2018). With thanks to Matteo Marangoni / iii.

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December 18, 2015