*This conversation has been edited in length for this exhibition.
Ik Wil, Ik Wil; Nummer 1 is a portrait of Vaslav Nijinsky, one of the most celebrated dancers and choreographers of the early twentieth century. In 1919 Nijinsky was diagnosed with schizophrenia and institutionalized at just 29 years old. Van Schayk’s portrait, the first in an unfinished series of the Russian born artist, captures the tortured inward focus at the height of mental illness. In his hand there is a pencil and the text that circles his head is taken from Nijinsky’s own written accounts as he bordered on psychosis.
Bruno Barat is a dancer, choreographer, art historian and gallerist. A graduate of the National Conservatory in Straatsburg, Barat joined the Dutch National Ballet in 1979, progressing to the rank of soloist in 1985. He has originated roles in many of Van Schayk’s choreographies including Sanitair Solitair (1985) and 7th Symphony (1986) and Stilleven wit plien (1992). After retiring from the Dutch National Ballet in 1998, he went on to study art history at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam, specializing in nineteenth century painting techniques. At the end of 2003 he opened the Bruno Barat Art Gallery in Hattem, which specializes in European and applied art from the period 1870-1970.