Since 2013, the artistic relationship between Susanne Kennedy, Suzan Boogaerdt and Bianca van der Schoot has run like an ‘ungoing conversation’ through both Kennedy’s work practice and that of Boogaerdt/VanderSchoot. After a mutual interest in each other’s work, they made Hideous (wo)men in 2013 with Toneelgroep Oostpool in Arnhem, (German premiere Münchner Kammerspiele February 2015). This was followed by the radical adaptation of ORFEO at the Ruhrtrienalle in 2015 in collaboration with Solistenensemble Kaleidoskop. In 2017 they made the production Women in Trouble together at the Volksbühne in Berlin, followed by Coming Society in 2018 and Ultraworld in 2020. From January ’22 they are working on a new production under the title Jessica.
In addition to the relevant substantive themes, the joint interest and inspiration also cover form research in their work, which mainly focuses on physicality, the technical approach of the body as an object. In the two separate practices, the makers examine the body as a thing in space, which can acquire a political charge through the action, but above all through the stillness. BVDS’s search for the neutral body as a projection screen for our (in)humanity, based on the mime-corporel, is in line with the way in which Kennedy approaches the theatrical body. The use of theatrical means, such as masks and disguises, with which de-personification can be achieved is an important part of both BVDS and Kennedy’s visual language. Their collaboration starts from the neutral, de-personified body that, in their joint practice, forms the operating base for the way in which we as humanity are in transition. What is the meaning of the body and in particular the role of the female body in this time?