project image
Jacques Martens

first performed on January 17, 2020
European Cultural Centre, Palazzo Mora
performed once in 2020


Istanbul, Turkey


“Cyclic Traces” is a durational performance/installation work created at the end of the residency program the Venice International Performance Art Week - Co-Creation Live Factory: Dissenting Bodies Marking Time. As I was moving, standing, and doing simple actions during the residency, I began to think about how the states of our minds against time can drive our personalities. We define the past as a heavy burden on our shoulders. As long as we bear this weight, the motifs of the future will be more of the same. This performance is a ritual of understanding the motifs of my past, making peace with them and finally lifting them off my shoulders and mind.

Who am I?

After asking who I am, who am I now?

Is there any difference?

What will I leave behind?

What will I discover?

My performance was in the far right room on the 2nd floor of Palazzo Mora. I was walking naked in a circular shape on rice grains. In my hair a stone was attached, dragging on the floor behind me. Its movement and rhythm were leaving traces on the ground. The sound of the stone dragged by my braid was breaking the heavy silence in the room. An echo that follows my present, like the sounds of the past. I walked for three hours without stopping, sometimes clockwise and sometimes counterclockwise. I walked not with the hour of time, but with the hour of my body—from slow to fast, from fast to slow, but without deciding on my speed—I walked with the speed of my body’s instant reactions to cold, to heat, to sound, to silence, and to traces that followed me. Simultaneously, many performances were taking place on all the floors and rooms of Palazzo Mora. The audience would take a glance at every performance from room to room. When they got back to my room, I continued walking, leaving new marks on the old ones. This lasted until my body hesitated and stopped for a moment. My body couldn’t resist the cold air coming from the historic stone floor and the semi-open ceiling. Once it stopped, I ended the performance.