«Book Burning» is a political fable about the big machine where all things about us are stored and endlessly multiplied until our identity is not recognizable any more.
YOU WON’T KNOW THE FACTS UNTIL YOU’VE SEEN THE FICTION
This performance is a joint venture by the artist Hans Op de Beeck and writer-actor Pieter De Buysser. The piece physically links visual art and theatre, with Hans creating an object and Pieter writing a play to perform alongside it. Hans has constructed a chest with hidden cupboards and drawers. Pieter has devised a story featuring Sebastian, an old Wikileaks man surrounded by fluttering moths; his daughter Tilda, who wishes everything would disappear, including herself; a young Indignado called Nobody; and last but not least, the smart narrator Kat Schrödinger. A story that’s part blood-curdling fairytale, part edgy road movie. A story about storing things away and forgetting them, about facts and myths.
Today we have access to huge amounts of digital memory: it remembers everything and forgets nothing. Computers are taking over: they saddle us with a ‘profile’ that we will never be able to shake off, they make our most intimate secrets public, and we lose control over our own lives. On the other hand, they are a rich source of information, and they reveal secrets that should have been out in the open for a long time. But the amount of information available is so boundless that we risk drowning in it.
Book Burning is about this and much more. About the need for filters that can organise all this information. About the right to information and to the means of establishing how much of it is true. But also about the need to be able to delete our own profile, about the right to protect our own DNA code, about the right to burn «the book that reveals all».
Interview with Pieter De Buysser:
Concept: Pieter De Buysser & Hans Op de Beeck Text & play: Pieter De Buysser Image: Hans Op de Beeck Dramaturgy: Marianne Van Kerkhoven (Kaaitheater) English Language Coaching: Miles O’Shea English Translation: Jodie Hruby, Miles O’Shea, Pieter De Buysser Lightdesign & technician: Herman Sorgeloos Production: Margarita Production Co-production: KunstenfestivaldesArts, Kaaitheater, Festival Baltoscandal (Rakvere) (E), Belluard Bollwerk International (CH), Teaterhuset Avant Garden (N), Bit Teatergarasjen (N), Brut Wien (A) NXTSTP, with the support of the Culture Programme of the European Union With the support of: Koninklijke Bibliotheek België, Göteborgs Dance & Teater Festival, The Flemish Government