The work of Lawrence Malstaf can be situated on the borderline between the visual and the theatrical. After having studied industrial design, Lawrence Malstaf starts of in theatre. He designs scenographies for choreographers and directors as Benoît Lachambre, Meg Stuart and Kirsten Delholm. Soon he develops more into installation and performance-art with a strong focus on movement, coincidence, order and chaos. In 2000 he makes a series of sensorial rooms for individual visitors (Nemo Observatorium, Mirror, Pericope/Horizon Machine). Later he creates larger mobile environments dealing with space and orientation often using the visitor as a co-actor (Orbit, Nevel, Compass, Boreas, Transporter). His projects often involve advanced technology as a point of departure or inspiration but also to activate the installations. Lawrence Malstaf is exhibiting internationally and in 2008 he wins the Witteveen + Bos – prize for Art + Technology (NL), in 2009 he receives the Golden Nica at Prix Ars Electronica (A) an in 2010 he is the winner of the Excellence Prize at The 13th Japan Media Arts Festival in Tokyo (JP).
More and more art is supposed to serve a(n) (art)theoretical or a political discourse, to cause an effect, to ‘do something’. Radical Autonomy counters this tendency by showing that art is capable of proposing an alternative and possibly better society, precisely because of its autonomous position. The participating artists share a conceptual approach and a minimalist design, while influenced by conceptual art, Fluxus and Zero. Their works are a radically autonomous: they are intimate, condensed, referring to themselves and force the beholder to focus.
The basic idea for this project came from my earlier work based on the principle of camera obscura. Similarly to transparency, the Ciba chrome paper produces a direct, positive picture in color. By contrast, the direct exposure of black-and-white photographic paper yields a negative image. On black-and-white paper the only way to circumvent this and to make sure that the resulting picture is in positive, reality should be transformed to negative.