“Have I Been Here Before ?” (Deja Vu I): Hamilton Version

Deja Vu I “Have I Been Here Before?”


“Have I Been Here Before?” (Deja Vu I.) Is a version of Deja Vu I, an interactive video installation inviting 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. Deja Vu has been presented huber of times both nationally and internationally. It draws many links to cinema, theatre and visual arts. It creates, observes and imagines space.


DEJA VU 01a©Lenka Novakova, La Chambre Blanche 2009


Multiple projectors and CCTV cameras  in the space are assembled to literally observe the platforms (installed often in the centre of the space) within a specific light situation in the gallery / black box and project echoed images back into the space. It creates space both cinematic and theatrical. The infinite  echoes of the architecture and participants create ephemeral, and imaginative space.


The performance  with this work has become the public prototype of the work and is optional 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

hamilton karijn

©Lenka Novakova (Performance:Karijn De Jong, Hamilton Artist Inc. 2011)


Date of Creation: 2010

Concept/Creation: Lenka Novakova

Choreography: 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

Photo / Video Credit © Lenka Novakova 2010-2014

Selected Exhibitions


Thames Art Gallery – Chatham Kent, Chatham, ON, Canada
“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
http://www.chambreblanche.qc.ca/EN/, http://projetointegracao.wordpress.com/echange-2011



Have I been here before - Hamilton Artist Inc.

FINAL PROOF (Lenka Novakova) 01-2

Have I been here before - Hamilton Artist Inc.

Lenka Novakova - Chatham Kent Performance and Exhibition







© Lenka Novakova 2010