Concept – Performance Niek Vanoosterweyck
Concept – Direction – Stage design Kevin Pieterse

Performed at Stukafest 2019

This boy is your friend is the first piece which was conceived by Kevin and Me. We both have quite an interest in the topic of the performative. Through conversation and the exchange of inspiration, we wanted to bring something unusual to Stukafest. It is a festival held for students in student rooms, most of them haven’t been in contact with the theatre or see it as a night of drinking.  The programming at this festival contains, for the main part, singer-songwriters or actors reciting monologues.

We wanted to bring something different, scary, vulnerable and drastic within the student room. We tried to create a space and a personage within a performative setting. Partly inspired by Marina Abramovic’s Rythem 0.

We decided to tie me down to a chair and put multiple objects next to me. Kevin communicated to the audience that they were free to act as they liked.

For me, it was so scary to perform this kind of vulnerability. I remember the moments that Kevin untied me after the 20 minutes with the audience. I needed to hug Kevin to feel safe again to perform again. To close a certain state to be able to cope with what I experienced. This wasn’t so much about the actions the audience performed on me, it was more about the notion of “complete surrender”.

The audience of the first round was tranquil and had wait-and-see energy. The second round a completely different group came in and started chilling in the space and playing with the objects themselves while ignoring me. A few audience members couldn’t believe what they saw. The contact with them felt good. The third and last group came in half-drunk already. Although they were sweet and eager to play, take pictures, paint and lit cigarettes. They bulged in didn’t really connect to with me. Some exceptions stayed longer.

I want to thank Stukafest and Pip for staying the night with us and taking care of the contact.