The earth is exhausted. It is time for us to reconsider our way of life and change how we act. In order to do so, we must challenge our fundamental ideologies and value systems. How do we do that? How do we install a radically different imagination on the positioning of humankind in the world?
RHIZOME is a nomadic work of art, a work-in-progress, which takes us to various deserted and overgrown industrial sites across Europe. From these ruins, left behind by capitalism, we see remnants of times passed, but also the convergence of “nature” and “culture” – a glimpse of a possible future. Here we can begin to search for a new form of dialogue regarding the people and things which surround us by consciously shifting away from the “normal” line of thinking and speaking commonly associated with Western culture, where our tendency to differentiate, place labels and set limits defines the type of order and hierarchy we see in the world. Can we free ourselves from this hierarchical disposition and allow our thoughts and actions to be lead by our relationships void of limitations?
From these capitalist ruins we will work with a diverse group of people (a farmer, teacher, bank manager, florist, artist, politician…) and let ourselves get inspired by the animals, things, plants and microbes that we encounter within the overgrown and crumbling man-made structures.
RHIZOME is a work that consists of four parts. Through Performance, Driftage and Conversation, the participants enter a mind game, challenging them to discover new ways to relate and experience. Along the way, traces of the processes we enter into are added to a Composting Archive, especially designed for RHIZOME.
With RHIZOME, we also travel to festivals, theatres and museums across Europe. At every location we collaborate with the animals, things, plants and microbes that are encountered and engage the participating audience in the process via performance driftage and conversation. In this way, we are able to put rhizomatic thinking and speaking into practice and set existing relationships in motion.
“We need to think, think, think”, Rosi Braidotti said in one of her lectures, in answer to the question “what should we use theatrical space for today?” RHIZOME offers exactly that: space to think, to reflect and think back, but above all to think with plants, animals, things, microbes and our own bodies.
Premiere autumn 2021, on the site of a former starch factory in Ter Apel (Groningen) – In collaboration with Jonge Harten Festival.
Concept & development Lotte van den Berg en Daan ’t Sas in collaboration with Zephyr Brüggen, Sophie Valérie Janssen en Jakob Proyer.
Skiantos, Italy 2012
Capacity 200 people per day
Language Depending on where we are
‘Our bodies have formed themselves in delicate reciprocity with the manifold textures, sounds, and shapes of an animate earth — our eyes have evolved in subtle interaction with other eyes, as our ears are attuned by their very structure to the howling of wolves and the honking of geese. To shut ourselves off from these other voices, to continue by our lifestyles to condemn these other sensibilities to the oblivion of extinction, is to rob our own senses of their integrity, and to rob our minds of their coherence. We are human only in contact, and conviviality, with what is not human.’ (Abram, 1997)