Deja Vu I.

Interactive video installation invites the viewer/participant to contemplate the nature of his/her own being through the act of self-reflection within the space. The play of shadows, light, reflected, refracted image and the repetition of the infinites  leads to a contemplative state of mind and projection of one own self within the personal as well as larger concept of time and space.

Theatre risers, number of cameras, projectors, 2 large mirrors. Movement through the space multiplies the projected image. The visitors are invited to walk up and down the steps and around the structure in order to observe the movement of their own bodies within the imaginary space of the projected image. Two large mirrors placed in each corner of the gallery reflect the entire situation back to the space each from a different angle.

The work carefully observes the tensions between the space of cinema, theatre and exhibition. The experience is both the cinematic and the theatrical. (the work took two years in development and its theoretical findings lead to my master theses in 2009, available upon request)


The work has been developed and  is an interactive video installation during my residency at La Chambre Blanche, Quebec in 2010.  Performers  were  invited locally at the time of showing to participate in the improvised performance. These Performances started as an experiment and a public prototype during the one week of showing at La Chambre Blanche in 2010. Several students from the School of Dance Quebec were invited to participate in the public prototype of the performance.

The performance  with this work, every since has become the public prototype of the project and is optional (but not required for showing of the work) depending on each particular location and space of the exhibition. Performance in Deja Vu is often improvised. It is primarily focused on introduction of the optical space and opening viewers imagination to metamorphic engagement with the light situation in creative process of generating dream like landscapes, waves of water or seductive imagery of face and body within their abstractions and architectural scale. Depending on the location of the exhibition, call for performance is launched and organized in the space . The choreography leads the performer to improvised movements, it takes place in silence, focusing on introducing the optical qualities of the work.  The performance is limited to 10 minutes and usually, takes place within the vernissage of the exhibition. Participating performers included: Karijn de Jong, Katia-Marie Germain, Elizabeth Rose Browman and Undergradute Students at University of Wisconcin and participants at SESC Pinheiros, et l’Atelie NOVO – Integracao Action Sao Paulo : Quebec

“La galerie devient la pièce centrale d’un lieu incertain aux multiples dédales aux contours parfois nets, parfois flous, ombre et lumière qui trompent l’œil et jouent avec l’échelle des images. Cette exploration de l’image et de la lumière créée un environnement vivant où tous les bruits semblent plus sonores, où les ombres sont sublimées. Les images projetées en trinité : la fille, l’image de la fille et l’ombre de la fille, toutes réunies dans un dialogue muet. Entrer dans cette œuvre de Lenka Novakova, c’est comme flotter dans un monde onirique, un monde intangible, construit uniquement de lumière et d’ombres. Comme réaliser enfin le fantasme infantile de pouvoir entrer dans le livre d’histoire et en devenir le protagoniste.”

Comme un rêve de pierre. Exposition de Lenka Novakova à la Chambre Blanche. (article par Claude Chevalot 15 avril 2010)


Technical Information:

4 projectors
2 CCTV high res. cameras
Theatre Platforms
2 Mirrors
Dimensions: Variable depending on the shape of the space, Minimal Space 28' x 28' and larger


Date of Creation: 2010
Concept/Creation: Lenka Novakova

Choreography/Directon: Lenka Novakova
Performer 1: Katia-Marie Germain (Thames Art Gallery)
Performer 2 : Karijn de Jong (Hamilton Artist Centre)
Performer 3 : Elizabeth Rose Bowman (University of Wisconsin)
Performance 1: La Chambre Blanche (students of Ecole de Danse, Quebec) 2010
Performance 2: University of Wisconcin, La Crosse (UW students) 2012
Performance 3: SESC Pinheiros 2010

Selected Exhibitions


Thames Art Gallery – Chatham Kent, Chatham, ON, Canada (upcoming)
“Have I been here before“, Curator Carl Levoy, publication Kasia Basta

University of Wisconsin, Gallery La Crosse, La Crosse, Wisconsin, USA
‘Have I been here before/Deja Vu?’, ‘How far are we?’ Exhibition, Artist Lecture
and performance in collaboration with UW students, Curated by Binod Shrestha

Hamilton Artist, Inc, Hamilton, ON, Canada
‘Have I been here before’ Exhibition, Performance and Artist talk, Curated by Irene Laughlin
Performance in collaboration with Karijn Dejong, interview: Kristina deMelo

SESC Pinheiros, et l’Atelie NOVO – Integracao Action Sao Paulo : Quebec
Echange artistique entre la ville de Quebec et Sao Paulo
Ce project est le fruit d’un partenariat entre Le Lieu, centre en art
Actuel, Avatar, La bande Video, La Chambre Blanche et L’oeil de poisson

La Chambre Blanche, Quebec, Quebec, Canada
‘Fragments of Light’, ‘ Have I been here before’, Project & Exhibition Residency
Production, Exhibition and Artist Talk, Part of Sao Paulo – Quebec exchange,
© Lenka Novakova 2010


Have I been here before - Hamilton Artist Inc.

Lenka Novakova - Chatham Kent Performance and Exhibition