Fia Cielen

Fia Cielen - HYPNOPOMP (2023) Courtesy the artist

‘It’s a dance of tics and twitches, jerks and spasms, the agitation of a body broken down into individual components, then re-integrated at the level of the entire dancefloor. It’s pagan too, this digital Dionysian derangement whose goal is to find asylum in MADNESS.’ - Simon Reynolds on the Hardcore Continuum #1: Hardcore Rave - The Wire, 300 (2013)

The ego dissolves, the I becomes we. Our psychic privatization is suspended. We synchronize. – Persis Bekkering in conversation with Bogomir Doringer - Laatste utopie

‘Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?’
- Edgar Allan Poe

HYPNOPOMP is an immersive installation in which Cielen brings together various audiovisual and sculptural elements into an enchanting experience. The two video works in the installation take you to a cultivated natural landscape in which a gabber dances to an hypnotic drum soundtrack. Gabber emerged as a subculture in the 1990s in the Low Countries. The electronic music is based on heavy beats that race out of the speakers at a rate of 200 beats per minute while the dance style resonates with ancient repetitive ritual dance forms also aimed at inducing a trance-like state. The title HYPNOPOMP refers to hypnopompia: a kind of dream state between sleep and wakefulness in which the subconscious takes over from reason and one experiences ‘slumber hallucinations’. In the heart of the installation stands a monolithic sculptural element that comes to life through digital animation and projection mapping in cyclical transformations based on the visual distortions, hallucinations and fractal patterns experienced in trance. Cielen's work evokes ancient traditions and rituals, modern subculture and shamanism. In a focus on rhythm and repetition, consciousness alteration and ritual expression, these elements find each other in a nexus beyond time.

2023 – installation with video works, sculpture and projection mapping
Courtesy of the artist & Jaak De Digitale
Commissioned by STUK, House for Dance, Image & Sound in the context of The Ecstatic Being. Between knowing and understanding (2023).

Fia Cielen
°1978, Hasselt, Belgium

Fia Cielen makes drawings, sculptures, and (video-)installations. The notion of metamorphosis is a recurring aspect in her practice underpinning most of her work. The artist is particularly attracted by in-between states, transitory zones and the uncanny, which becomes evident especially in her drawings. They are populated by creatures that exist on the threshold between the human, the animal, and the elemental; beings on the verge of their next materialisation. An important source of inspiration are masks – carnival masks, old folklore and ritual masks, and ritual animal disguises. In an over-regulated world, Cielen wants to depict the states in which we can reclaim a sense of wildness. Cielen graduated from HISK in 2008. She teaches at KASK School of Arts, in Ghent. Her work has been exhibited at numerous exhibitions, most recently in DMW Gallery, Sofie Van Den Bussche Gallery, Pilar artspace Brussels and Ballroom Gallery. She lives and works in Antwerp, Belgium and is represented through DMWGallery.

Portrait © Felix Baumsteiger