René Heyvaert (1929-1984) was a Belgian artist and architect who was involved mainly with conceptual art, mail art and architecture. In both his art and his architecture he imposed form on his materials. To give an example, he made slight changes to everyday objects so as to question their function and to shed light on their role. Heyvaert’s work, very unjustly, only became known after his sudden death, and this as a consequence of a retrospective at the SMAK in Ghent in 2006.
The performance opens with an exhibition of René Heyvaert’s work, selected and designed by the MuHKA in Antwerp. The audience is invited to enter a museum, where it has the opportunity to discover Heyvaert’s work. This exhibition space then transforms into a stage. Three people put themselves forward as candidates to play René. In the auditions they each try to capture his capricious character through their own imagination. Because they like being on stage. Because they want to create the perfect character. Or because they would like to be René. There is one thing they may have in common with him: the intense desire for recognition and the secret hope that art can save their lives. Once they have the ability to fly.