Performing artists Mees Borgman and Espen Hjort are working together as Landmarks Collective. Together they create works that aim to go beyond human perspectives. They are driven by the need to make sense of ecological disaster and more importantly: to contribute meaningfully in this moment of ecological crisis. How can art help us live on more equal terms with the planet? How can art be a laboratory for the future?
Their first proposal is the performance STONEWORK, and collaboration with a 10kg, 1,5 billion year old stone from the Hallingskarvet mountain range in Norway.
Stonework is a playful and primitive physical duet between a human performer and a stone from the Hallingskarvet mountain range in Norway. The starting point for the work is the wish to collaborate as equals with the stone and to create a work that is just as engaging for a stone as for a human. This forced us to rethink our approach to theatre and our means of communication. Stonework is about vibration, temperature, force and gravity, and about two bodies trying to become one another. But how do you entertain a stone?
Even if the work is stone-centred, we would like to invite a human audience to witness this duet, in the hope that we can all be infected with a bit of stone-ness. Perhaps the stone can teach us about softness? Eventually, our aim is to learn how to coexist with nonhumans in a more empathic way.
The work is gentle and playful, part physical performance, part theatrical installation and part composition. Composer Seán ó Dálaigh creates a sound work based on the unique frequencies of the stone performer.
Stonework marks the beginning of a series of works created by Mees and Espen under the name Landmarks. This work for stones will be followed by Treework, Mountainwork and several other works. Site-specific editions of Stonework will happen in 2023.
Gauadeamus festival published an essay about Stonework, read it here.
7&8 September - Theater Ins Blau, Leiden (try-outs)
9 september - Gaudeamus Festival (Utrecht) (premiere)
14 September 2022 - Theater aan de Rijn, Arnhem
15 September 2022 - De Nieuwe Vorst, Tilburg
22 September 2022 - WORM Rotterdam
18-19 October - Frascati Amsterdam
24 november (13h & 19h) - Grenland Friteater, Porsgrunn (Norway)
Spring 2023: Ekeberg Skulpturpark, Oslo
Concept: Mees Borgman & Espen Hjort & the stone
Direction: Espen Hjort & the stone
Choreography: Mees Borgman & the stone
Performance: Mees Borgman & the stone
Composition: Seán ó Dálaigh & the stone
Additional music by: Marko Ivic, Mees Borgman
Scenography and light design: Grischa Runge & the stone
Dramaturgy: Floor Cremers & the stone
Kostuum: Martina Bauer
Coaching: Bára Sigfúsdóttir, Marlies Heuer
Scientific advice: dr. Oliver Plümper, Universiteit Utrecht
Technician: Jorick Bronius
Production: Elisia da Silva Martins Peças
Communication: Nikla Katsburg
Graphic design: Lucas van Hapert
Photography: Anna van Kooij, Geert Goiris (poster/flyer)
Thank you: Koosje Laan, de Veenfabriek, Singel Film, Jasper Smits
Stonework is produced by Stg. Skorpetind in coproduction with Gaudeamus Festival. It is created in the context of the In situ/city program of the Ulysses Network, made possible by the generous support of the Norwegian Arts Council, the Dutch Performing Arts Fund, Stichting Melanie, the City of Utrecht, Stichting Dioraphte and the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds.