Plastering and civilising
Talk is the combination of ‘old’ and ‘new’ performances by the theatre-maker and artist Kris Verdonck.
Part one is a ‘play’ for two plasterers created in 2001. On stage we see a rough section of wall 8 square metres in size, into which about 20 small microphones have been inserted. The men cover the wall with plaster. The audience ‘hear’ how the work progresses and how the material changes. Everything in this scene is authentic and functional: the plasterers are there because they have been asked to plaster a wall, the light is meant to show up all the uneven bits in the plaster, the interval is necessary to allow it to dry and so on. Part one is about smoothing over, eliminating, concealing all the bumps. It is about civilization: a house under construction is like a cave until the plasterers have been. Then the house is inhabitable, civilised, pure. A white square.
In part two
, an actor attempts to tell his story as authentically and objectively as possible. Without any embellishments or interpretations. The naked truth. He stands in front of the wall, the white square, but against the light. He is like a shadow, like an anonymous witness on television, his voice slightly distorted. In his discourse he explains the Business Plan of a country on a distant continent. ‘Rwanda Inc. 2010’. This plan comprises the prognoses for the future of this nation. Glorious times appear to lie ahead. A triumph. No price is too high, no means too low. The end justifies all the means. Nevertheless, the past was made up of war, genocide, starvation, extreme poverty and so on. How do you get from point A to point B and what happens along the way? How can you smooth over the bumps in the wall? Layer upon layer. Cover the holes and remove the cracks. Concealing, hiding, bluffing, lying, ignoring, accusing, suppressing, destroying, etc. Underneath all this we hear the buzz of voices.
TALK is the first of two research projects by Kris Verdonck: while TALK sets out to explore language, EXIT, a future project, aims to tackle theatre as a medium.
concept, direction Kris Verdonck | actor X | text Joris Verhaegen | dramaturgy Marianne Van Kerkhoven | production A Two Dogs Company (Brussels) | co-production Kaaitheater