ANTIBODIES

In ANTIBODIES, the performance duo Boogaerdt/VanderSchoot (BVDS) honours the female anatomy as the source of creation during a ritual gathering. In a technologically mediated séance, we see a woman in a closed capsule drifting between reality, fiction, dreams and hallucinations. Through her online data, she descends into twilight zones where she encounters different versions of herself.

The theme of ANTIBODIES is more topical than ever. In recent decades we increasingly find ourselves in an online environment. This virtual space is controlled by self-learning machines (AI) that gain from human interaction to improve themselves. Humans are inextricably connected to the machines they themselves made. In fact, we are so interlinked with our technologies that we are no longer able to say if it is humankind making the machines or machines making humankind. This far-reaching use of technology creates a reality in which our choices are predictable and our actions are automated. BVDS explores the role of the human body in this frictionless world of data. They approach the transpiring, defecating, bleeding housing that we go through life with as the ultimate means of de-automating and recreating our reality.

BVDS about the inspiration for ANTIBODIES:“We are fascinated by the tension between the frictionless domain of data and the friction inherent in the corporeal domain. Dataism presupposes a predictable future in which everything is countable, measurable and traceable. We are exploring a movement that goes against this; an inquisitive movement through unknown twilight zones, past the recesses of the female body. We traverse the boundaries between dreams and reality, the conscious and subconscious, our online profile and offline body because we suspect it is here that we can find the source from which we might (re)create our life and once more find our freedom”.

Like Headroom and Botanical Wasteland, ANTIBODIES is part of the Future Fossils series: a multi-form art project about digital creatures in a non-human era. The series explores what it means to create art in the non-human era, an age in which human beings are no longer the measure of all things. From the central question: ‘If humankind is no longer the central object, then what is humanity?’, BVDS sets out to discover the relevance of theatre in a new era.

ANTIBODIES is a coproduction with Theater Rotterdam.

CREDITS

percipient Suzan Boogaerdt
direction Bianca van der Schoot
music Wessel Schrik
soprano Sterre Konijn
scenography Marloes&Wikke
video Rodrik Biersteker
costume Lotte Goos
fotography Sanne Peper

REVIEWS

“Hoe vervreemd we ook zijn van onze natuur, we zijn onderdeel van en onderhavig aan een levenskracht die door ons heen raast en die in onze lichamen uitwoekert. Misschien toch wel als virus waar geen afweer tegen bestaat.” (Groene Amsterdammer)

“Hoewel de individuele scènes zelfs binnen het gegeven van een ritueel net wat te repetitief zijn, zorgt de balans tussen futurisme en oerinvloeden dat Antibodies steeds verrassend blijft.” (NRC)

“Antibodies is een fascinerende, zij het echter zelfs voor Boogaerdt/VanderSchoot-begrippen een wat in zichzelf gekeerde, zoektocht naar menselijkheid in een niet-menselijke, gemechaniseerde wereld.” (Theaterkrant)

“De indringende voorstelling Antibodies van Boogaerdt/VanderSchoot wekt een mengeling van fascinatie en afschuw op” (Volkskrant)