The Anatomy Lesson
Marijs Boulogne (*1978, Belgium) is an actress, director, author and performance artist. At the RITS School of Arts in Brussels, she studied to become a theatre director before studying new media and interdisciplinary projects. She began directing her own plays in 1999, and she received several prizes in 2002 for the first production of her theatre company Buelens Paulina. Boulogne’s plays repeatedly explore forms of “female ecstasy” alongside traditional female craft and knowledge.
In this anatomy lesson, Marijs Boulogne demonstrates how the human organism works on a baby – one that she crocheted and embroidered herself. During the live performance, an endoscopic camera reveals the insides of the artificial organism while the different processes are commented on, as if this were a scientific lecture. This performance is based not only on art historical references, such as Rembrandt’s painting De anatomische les van Dr. Nicolaes Tulp (The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp) or Mona Hatoum’s video Corps étranger showing an endoscopic journey through the body, it is also an investigation into the existential trauma of losing a child as well as into fragile corporeality. JE
Courtesy Marijs Boulogne