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iArts alumnus Abel Enklaar

We got a chance to catch up with Abel Enklaar, an iArts Alumni who graduated in 2017 by setting up his own art practice Studio Enklaar.  From ‘sleepless nights, worrying about bills that needed to be paid’ to a ‘luxurious one month long residency at toneelgroep Maastricht’ read on to learn what he has been up to since leaving iArts.

“Last year I graduated with setting up my own ‘in-disciplinary’ art studio ‘Studio Enklaar’. Studio Enklaar explores ways in which new media technologies can be used to tell stories, craft the language of new media theatre and analyse the role of technology within society. With this we aim to dissect the politics of technology.

Since then I have been developing the studio. I’ve performed small pieces at festivals like the ‘WinterNights’ festival in Maastricht and at the Amsterdam Fringe Festival. In April 2018, I was part of a one month long residency at toneelgroep Maastricht in which we came together with seven young creators from different disciplines like dance, classical music, opera, and theatre. It was a luxurious experience to be hosted by such an institute and actually feel completely free in the approach to creating as a collective.

Right now I’m living and working in Amsterdam, although I travel a lot. I taught a few courses at the ArtEZ academy of the arts in Zwolle, have a lot of collaborators all over the Netherlands, and I do enjoy this nomadic approach.

In my own art practice I’ve taken this year as a chance to delve deeper into my work, and take longer for projects to manifest themselves. It’s a huge shift from working on small projects for the academy while at university, to having the freedom to set your own pace.

One of the goals I set myself when leaving iArts was to see if I could live solely from my artistic practice. This road has caused some sleepless nights, worrying about bills that needed to be paid, but now almost a year later I’m glad I took that risk. I have been able to spend  a lot of time to focus on my personal work. Today I manage to get by through teaching, speaking at events, designing interactive installations and stages for other creators and presenting my own work.

Within the upcoming year I will work at ‘Meltdown’, a theatrical experience about ending our physical lives through uploading ourselves to live forever in the cloud. It is a story about identity, not about endings but about new beginnings. It questions what the world would look like if you could shape it exactly the way you wanted it and furthermore what you would bring with you and what would you leave behind in your new life?”

More info about his work on https://www.studioenklaar.com/