Laurène Buchheit


On how many feet will you enter the stage to consult the Oracle of Laurène Buchheit?

Practical information
  • Performance on Wednesday 07.12.2022 at 8 p.m.
  • Louis Pasteurlaan 2, 9000 Ghent
  • Free entrance
  • Second Oracle of the exhibition Oracles, curated by Koi Persyn (komplot x KIOSK)


Annemarija Gulbe: Could you tell us more about the project you are working on right now? How did you encounter the sources of inspiration that led your artistic practice to this moment?

Laurène Buchheit: This year I started to sample a lot of text I found in physical places, especially in public toilets, and that formulates a starting point for the writing. I am interested in the popular aspect of sentences we almost all know—such as “power to the people!”—found in places where you can close a door, and where there will therefore be no witness.

People want to scream and proclaim, some keep these things for themselves or just eternalize it in those toilets, even if they know that thousands of people pass by and read when they close the door. I have a big collection of these texts and I was working with them this past summer during my residency at Cas–co (Leuven). And I thought that, in the context of this exhibition based on a series of oracles, it made sense for me to continue using them. These messages are always heard or read by people, and so I intervene with other stories that come across and in between the generic quotes.

On top of that, I am speaking into this non-identified object that becomes my microphone for my performance of the Oracle. I was reading Linear Manual [hosted by Martin Kohout, published by TLTRPreß & PAF, 2013], a great book about sticks, and it reminded me of the power of holding an object to catch attention while speaking—or catch our own attention while holding a stick in a support group, for example. I have always been captivated by the imagery and scenery of “the show” and the presence of the microphone on stage. As if the setting of this specific object is enough to capture attention, while actually taking over the rhetoric. Just hold the microphone and it becomes a show. The scenery changes into a moment where you finally listen, and you remember this is the reason why you came, whether you agree with what is said or not.

I think I am probably influenced by the fact that I have been to a lot of concerts, more than I have attended exhibitions. And I never played music, but always wanted to.

AG: How do you navigate in this exhibition’s collective cycle of narratives and how does your voice exchange with the other stories and artists? How will your project interact with the other artworks, the approach of Oracles, and/or the space of KIOSK?

LB: I just realized how our practices communicate and collide softly, but not us, as we are not there in the exhibition space yet. In certain ways we overlap, but not completely. It is like talking to each other through our practices. Usually, I don't work in collectives, and this is a nice compromise. I think it is really beautiful that we can all meet and have a conversation, especially because we are all based in the same city. And that is also a nice perspective for the future.

The fact that Oracles – The Life of S.F. is a performance-based exhibition is really something I am interested in. What I am so curious about, in a very exciting way, is what is going to be in the exhibition space when we are not there. This is always the recurrent question. What is left after the oracles?

AG: The Oracle's spell heralds a turning point in someone’s life. We are curious to know what you envision for the future and how your performance will predict a shift in the narrative.

LB: “And you write the past while thinking about the future” is a fragment of text that forms the basis for my performative oracle. This phrase describes quite clearly what is at stake here, for the future, the present, and the past.

Over Laurène Buchheit

Laurène Buchheit is a french artist based in Brussels (BE). They use instal­la­ti­on, text, and per­for­man­ce as resour­ces to build systems. These systems are conceived as slap­stick sce­ne­ries with twisted assem­bla­ges invol­ving humor, play, poe­try and ele­ments of the realm. Their writing practice is based on absurd situ­a­ti­ons, codes of power and ways of communication. They are currently occupied with trying to create free spaces in the middle for urgent ‘birds’ gatherings.