Experimental performance exploring privacy and truth in the theatre

Privacy

De Warme Winkel, Wunderbaum

Two unconventional actors collectives join forces to stage a performance about privacy. Does privacy have any meaning in today’s digital world? How much should actors reveal about their private lives? Performers Wine Dierickx (Wunderbaum) and Ward Weemhoff (De Warme Winkel) go in search of the boundaries of our privacy, inspired by historic performances in art history, in which artists use their own personal experiences and issues to explore the line between the public and the private. Likewise, Wine and Ward will reveal all in their exploration of privacy and truth in the theatre.

Programme

Background information

Actors Wine Dierickx and Ward Weemhoff perform together in Privacy. Dierickx is a member of the Flemish-Dutch theatre ensemble Wunderbaum, Weemhoff is an actor with Dutch collective De Warme Winkel. In real life they are a couple, which is what inspired them to create a performance bordering between fiction and reality, focused on the central question 'how much intimacy can we take'? 


'Privacy is an outdated social norm,' Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg once famously said. In their piece Privacy, Wine Dierickx and Ward Weemhoff explore the radical change our notions of privacy have undergone in recent decades. 


We used to keep our private images, thoughts and experiences for our family and close friends; protectingour privacy was sacred to us. But the emergence of social media has allowed us all to share our most personal pictures, stories, videos and opinions with the rest of the world. The boundaries between the private and the public domain have never been as blurred as they are today. To some people this situation is unacceptable, others love it. Masses of people surrender to the non-stop orgy of exhibitionist posts. Where one person draws the line, someone else's freedom starts. In our modern society, digital exhibitionism and voyeurism seem to have become the most popular activities to spend our spare time. 

From the art world, we also get conflicting messages: the Chinese artist Ai Weiwei utilises the publication of private material to criticise social repression in China, while Hito Steyerl created his video How not to be seen to discuss how difficult it is these days to escape the gaze of others. 

This conflict between the lovers and haters of what Richard Sennett has called the tyranny of intimacy led the acting couple Dierickx and Weemhoff to create Privacy, which is inspired by art works exploring the boundaries between the public and the private when this was still relatively new. They include Tracey Emin's dirty sheets and cigarette stubs, the birth of Stan Brakhage's baby, Andy Warhol's sleeping lover, Nan Goldin's bedroom snapshots, John Lennon and Yoko Ono's bed-in and Marina Abramović and Ulay's naked performances. Looking back at them, these images all seem rather sensual, dating from a time when it wasn't banal to flaunt your private life. Dierickx and Weemhoff examine what has happened to our notion of privacy since. In their messy apartment full of personal effects – an unmade bed, an open wardrobe, a kitchen table, a full fridge, a lost cigarette stub – they shuttle between the lovers Wine and Ward and the actors Dierickx and Weemhoff. The historical images they evoke still suggest something mysterious and erotic in their intimacy. At the same time, their intimate form of theatre provokes a feeling of discomfort in the viewer.

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Biographies

Formed in 2002, Dutch theatre group De Warme Winkel is an actors' collective made up of Vincent Rietveld, Mara van Vlijmen and Ward Weemhoff. They frequently work with guest actors, directors, artists and musicians. De Warme Winkel has a love for history and is fascinated by these complex and confused times. 

 

Their performances are an energetic mix of styles, forms, clichés, icons and expectations. They perform at special locations, ranging from squats to second-hand shops, but also at regular venues in the Netherlands and abroad.

Through their playful, witty and sometimes painful struggle to get to grips with their subject matter, they aim to reveal the essence and beauty of the topics they explore. At the 2014 Holland Festival, De Warme Winkel performed the premiere of their production Gavrilo Princip.

 

Wunderbaum are a Dutch-Flemish actors' collective who create performances dealing with current issues, mainly on location but also in the theatre. Usually they write their own scripts based on research; occasionally they commission authors to write for them. Wunderbaum have performed in the Netherlands as well as abroad, including the United States, Iran. Scandinavia and Brazil. They received the Mary Dresselhuys Prize and the VSCD Proscenium Prize for their oeuvre, as well as the Total Theatre Award at the 2014 Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Since 2013, Wunderbaum have been working on The New Forest, a four-year collaboration with various partners, volunteers and audience members to portray society's transition to the world of tomorrow. In 2012 Wunderbaum made their debut at the Holland Festival with Detroit Dealers.

 

Actor / theatremaker Ward Weemhoff has been with De Warme Winkel since 2010. After graduating from the Antwerp Conservatory in 2006 (the actor's class of Dora van der Groen) he worked with various directors, including Johan Simons (Platform/NTGent), Lotte van den Berg (Braakland and Het Gerucht/Toneelhuis) and Joachim Robbrecht (Rashomon-effect/Toneelgroep Amsterdam) as well as several different collectives including andcompany & co (Die Kommende Aufstand), Touki Delphine (In de lelijkheid) and Cie. de Koe (Publikumsbeschimpfung). Besides working in the theatre, he's a film actor and a guest teacher at the acting schools of Antwerp, Maastricht and Brussels. In 2015, Weemhoff was nominated for an Arlecchino, the Dutch prize for the theatre season's best male supporting role, for his performance in De Warme Winkel's Gavrilo Princip.

 

Wine Dierickx is a core member of Wunderbaum actors' collective. She has also performed in several of Johan Simons' productions at NTGent, including Platform and Tien Geboden. The latter earned her a Colombina for the season's most impressive supporting female role. She also played in Maeterlinck, directed by Christoph Marthaler, Apenverdriet, directed by Arne Sierens, and various plays directed by Marijke Pinoy, including Yerma vraagt een toefeling. With tg STAN she staged and performed in their international production of Ibsen's Nora. Dierickx has also acted in various films, including a leading role in Felix van Groeningen's Dagen zonder lief and roles in Smoorverliefd by Hilde van Mieghem and Storm by German director Hans-Christian Schmid. 

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Credits

concept, text and performance
Wine Dierickx, Ward Weemhoff
sound
S.M. Snider
dramaturgy and text
Joachim Robbrecht
translation text
Rob Klinkenberg
scenography
Theun Mosk
supervising direction
Marien Jongewaard
production
De Warme Winkel, Wunderbaum, HAU Hebbel am Ufer
coproduction
Holland Festival, BIT Teatergarasjen, A House on Fire
with support by
Ammodo, Haupstadtkulturfonds, The Culture Programme of the European Union
with thanks to
Florian Hellwig

This performance was made possible with support by