MAKERS Samon Presland

10 t/m 13 & 26 t/m 28 april 2017 & 19 t/m 25 maart 2018

De Engels-Iraanse Samon Presland (UK, 1985) volgt op dit moment de MA-Scenography aan de HKU. Oorspronkelijk opgeleid als danser aan de Rambert School in Londen, werkte hij vervolgens samen met choreografen als Hofesh Schechter, Kim Brandstrup, Jonathan Lunn en Thomas Wilhelm. In 2015 was hij betrokken als performer in de installatie A Year at the Stedelijk (Museum) van Tino Sehgal.

Presland deed onderzoek in Het Huis. Zijn thema was  ‘ergens bij horen / je ergens thuis voelen’. Zijn artistieke praktijk vertrekt vanuit beweging alvorens met fysieke materialen te werken.

Zo combineert hij de kennis over de ruimtelijke elementen van beweging die hij als danser heeft opgedaan met de onvervreemdbare eigenschappen van fysieke materialen.

Het onderzoek naar ‘ergens bij horen’ kent drie invalshoeken. In het luik Past / Present / Future / Dream richt Presland zich op hoe andere mensen zich in ruimtelijke zin tot het thema verhouden. In Censorship onderzoekt hij hoe het verwijderen en verhullen van visuele referentiepunten vervreemding kan veroorzaken – is een gevoel van ‘ergens niet bij horen’ verbonden met niet kunnen begrijpen wat je ziet? In Colours Beneath staan vragen over etniciteit centraal: wat is onze oorsprong, en wanneer vervagen de tekenen daarvan? Presland stelt zich tot doel om deze drie takken van onderzoek bij elkaar te brengen in een visuele taal die het publiek in staat stelt om zich in het perspectief van de maker te verplaatsen, op zowel zintuiglijk als gevoelsmatig niveau.

Samon Presland, born in 1985 Bradford (UK) is an English/Iranian who began his dance training at the Rambert School London (UK) and went on to dance internationally working with choreographers such as Hofesh Shechter, Kim Brandstrup, Jonathan Lunn and Thomas Wilhelm. In 2015 he worked with Tino Sehgal in his year long exhibition at the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, going on to begin his Masters of Scenography at the HKU Utrecht in the same year.

“I have been fascinated with the theme of belonging and I’ve chosen to base my Masters Research around it. My practice is based on initiating the creative process through movement before working with materials. In this way I combine my knowledge of the spatial elements of movement with the inherent properties that materials possess.

I am researching belonging through three branches of research. Past / Present / Future / Dream; in which I look at the spatial relationship that others have to belonging. Censorship; where I look at the feeling of ‘not belonging’ and by removing and covering visual cues ask whether this can be created through not understanding what is perceived. Colours Beneath; originated as a question to where does our heritage come from and when will traces of our origins lessen. My aim is to bring these three branches together to create a visual language that will allow others to see from my point of view, which simultaneously questions both how it can be perceived and how it can be felt.”


“In April 2017 I had two residencies at Het Huis.  One of my intensions of working there was to discover how to use and present the ‘Heat Reactive Table’ I had made in a spatial and scenographic way that could bring together the three branches of my research..  As I am working under the context of New Materialism I choose the other materials that I took into the space specifically to be only paper and tape.  As these are the original materials that were used in creating ‘Censorship’ in the Iranian newspapers.  In taking these two sets of material into the space I was searching for a way to connect both of these two branches of my research.  I have previously experimented with a program which creates the illusion that a person becomes ‘invisible’ only seeing the blurred outlines of their body. 

I experimented with recording myself using this program entering and sitting at the heat reactive table.  Whilst I sat at their I began to censor the newspaper that I placed on it using blue tape and scissors, then leaving.  Before presenting the film and opening the space up to spectators I sat on the chair for enough time as to leave a heat trace on the chair.  So that when the spectators saw the film projected on the opposite wall to where I had placed the table and chair they could become aware of the presence or the trace of a person who had been sat at that table.  By making the actions that took place at the heat table ‘Censorship’ actions I tried to connect these branches of my research. 

As using this program gave me the ability to show that censorship is carried out by people without giving a face to that person it developed the idea that it is carried out by unseen figures.  This space then became a fictitious space or a dream space which I would connect to my first branch of research Past / Present / Future / Dream.  As this became what I would call an abstraction of the physical place where ‘Censorship’ would take place.  By using the medium of film to show how the body and the heat table work I believe is demonstrating what Tim Ingold refers to as ‘Material Flows’.  This presentation form shows the equality between the two materials and how they react and exchange in each others presence, leaving a visible trace.  I enjoyed working with these materials and in this form. 

I left Het Huis, many steps further towards creating a constructed situation that would direct or guide the spectator through the narrative I had created to highlight the questions that I have been researching in my Masters.  I am positive that I would not have created this work without being at Het Huis in Studio 1, the room itself and its location gave me an inspiration and catalyst in bringing these elements together.  Also by having time in the studio it really allowed me to reflect upon what I had made and gave me time to experiment and discover, which took me in a direction that I am really interested to follow.  By spatially experimenting with these elements and materials, and then presenting what I had created I received some highly informative feedback which highlighted the role of spectatorship within my work and how it can be developed further”