Chance = Change
On the work of Lawrence Malstaf
Luk Van den Dries
The first time I was confronted with the work of Lawrence Malstaf was at a theatre performance. “Sauna in exile” was a project he had done with Mette Edvardsen, Heine Avdal and Liv Hanne Haugen. It had a lasting impression on me. As is the case with all work from Lawrence Malstaf, the starting point is very clear and simple. In the middle of the room there was a sauna that was surrounded with all kinds of chill out zones where you could listen to music, see video performances or just have a drink. But the real heart of the performance is the sauna itself—the genuine article because the visitors have to get into his or her bathrobes to enter the installation. Once naked you surrender yourself to the hot air—and before you know it an equally naked actor introduces you to the use of vihta, tree branches that stimulate your blood flow. A few people even evaporate on the scene and minutes later you witness the start of a choreography.