A handwoven large-scale moving block made of fluorocarbon

For the project EGO, artist Lonneke Gordijn of Dutch Studio Drift teamed up with opera director Monique Wagemakers and choreographer Nanine Linning to design a handwoven moving block made of fluorocarbon, to give a new interpretation to the opera L’Orfeo.

L’Orfeo (1607, Claudio Monteverdi) is the oldest opera still performed to this day and focuses on the hero Orfeo, who is stuck in a rigid perspective of love and life, but eventually manages to become a better version of himself when every pillar and ground around him collapses.

Squares, according to Gordijn, are “the ultimate embodiment of mankind, with their rigid lines, angles and static state”. The block she designed aims to represent the inner world and perspectives of a human being. Thanks to motors attached to the eights corners of the block, the block appears to be both in rigid or loose state. Gordijn continues, “Transforming between natural and non-natural states, it gives the viewer a sense of perspective that they can relate to but also shows its vulnerability at the same time. A seemingly rigid shape expressing feelings and emotions, strengths and weaknesses of human perspectives.”

The block is made of 16 km (10 miles) of hair-thin reflective Japanese fluorocarbon. The studio had to develop their own weaving loom as this was the first time a block of this size was woven.

The premiere took place on 25 January in Enschede, the Netherlands. On 11 February the curtains will fall in theatre CARRÉ.

Photos: Marco Borggreve