DIRECTOR: Julian Hetzel
CO-CREATORS AND PERFORMERS: Kristien De Proost/Lisi Estaras, Pitcho Womba Konga & Jana De Kockere/Simon Baetens
DRAMATURGY: Miguel Angel Melgares
ARTISTIC ADVISE: Sodja Lotker
PRODUCTION MANAGER & SCENOGRAPHY: Wim Clapdorp
PRODUCTION ASSISTANT: Valentine Galeyn
ASSISTANT SCENOGRAPHER: Pleun Verhees
COSTUMES: Andrea Kränzlin
TECHNIQUE: Piet Depoortere & Jonas Lambrigts (Anne Meeussen/Jannes Dierynck)
PRODUCTION: CAMPO Gent (BE), Ism & Heit (Utrecht, NL)
COPRODUCTION: Frascati Producties Amsterdam (NL), Standplaats Utrecht (NL), SPRING Festival Utrecht (NL) & Schauspiel Leipzig (DE)
WITH THE SUPPORT OF: Performing Arts Fund NL, Fonds21, Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds, We Are Public, Kickstart Cultuurfonds, the Flemish Community & City of Ghent
DURATION: 70 min.
DATES: 29, 30 September | 19:00
VENUE: Arts Printing House, Black Hall
Partners of the performance in Lithuania:
The one word that lingers after watching this performance is ‘hope’. It would seem that the play is not really about hope, but about the hopelessness that is written into our history and our present, about how the world today is still moving forward from inertia, even though it is clear to everyone that this trajectory is leading to destruction. Yet, somehow, Hetzel manages to hook the living nerve of hope and pull it out to the surface, so that each of us would find the strength inside to reconstruct our vision of the world and break the inertia.
Artistic director of the festival
For centuries, art has been used to enhance the glory of the nation, its great leader and the political ideology. The effigies of figures such as Lenin, Hitler, Mao, Stalin or Leopold II are part of the collective memory. They also are a physical representation of a particular regime, a specific era, an ideology. Statues are there for eternity, immutable, in materials that effortlessly outlive a nation. Or, in some cases, even in materials that carry the trauma of what is represented. Like the copper used for a bust of Leopold II that came directly from Congolese mines.
Though the show is certainly not just about Belgian colonial history, through Julian Hetzel’s collaboration with Kristien De Proost and Brussels-Congolese theatre-maker and rapper Pitcho Womba Konga, among others, the urgency of the link to post-colonial Belgium quickly became clear. Mount Average questions acquired rights, traditions, privileges and wealth, ideologies and totalitarian ideas, aspects that every (post-colonial) society carries with it. The trauma of the past was long hidden away, but we can no longer avoid it. In this performance Julian Hetzel uses the busts of historical figures, rulers, tyrants and dictators as source material to deconstruct that static past and then rework it, make it fluid. They are grinded into dust, and after adding fluids, they take on a flexible form. Performers and audience eventually process the matter into something new. In this way, the past is not erased, but deconstructed and rearranged into a flexible new entity. The future will be fluid.
About the artist:
Julian Hetzel is a well-known German artis. He studied in the DasArts School in Amsterdam – one of Europe’s foremost artistic research laboratories for the exploration of new forms of theatre. The same applies to Hetzel’s work – he creates pieces that do not fit into any definitions, combine different art forms, seek a close, direct, immediate contact with the audience. Hetzel likes to play with traditions, pop culture and political paraphrases, to reflect on collective trauma and memory, and to use irony.
Hetzel holds a degree in visual communication and arts from the Bauhaus University in Weimar and was a member of the electronic music band Pentatones for more than ten years. He started making theatre later because he started looking for artistic expression that would enable him to combine different interests and means of expression.
Mala Voadora was founded in 2003 by Jorge Andrade and José Capela, both responsible for the company’s artistic direction. It divides its activity between the creation of performances, the programming of a series of activities focused on mala voadora.porto and also other activities, such as publishing and teaching. Besides Portugal, mala voadora has presented performances in Germany, Belgium, Bosnia Herzegovina, Brazil, Cape Verde, Scotland, United States of America, Finland, France, Greece, England, Lebanon and Poland. mala voadora continues fascinated with artifice – the counter-nature that defines what is specifically human and what can achieve the condition of what is artfully known as “art”.