UNIT

UNIT is a performance in a museum context with two performers and two automatons or robots. The four figures are indistinguishable from one another; their shape is exactly the same; they breathe, hardly move and are waiting. The audience are unable to differentiate the “living” from the “dead”. Both have the same status, that of living sculpture. The purpose of these four figures is unknown, they “are”. It’s the grey zone, between the white, museal cube and the black box of the theatre. This grey zone is also the zone where people and objects become interchangeable, where life and death meet each other and therefore also man and the machine.

 

UNIT was made in the context of IN VOID II.
 


UNIT is a performance in a museum context with two performers and two automatons or robots. The four figures are indistinguishable from one another; their shape is exactly the same; they breathe, hardly move and are waiting. The audience are unable to differentiate the “living” from the “dead”. Both have the same status, that of living sculpture. The purpose of these four figures is unknown, they “are”. It’s the grey zone, between the white, museal cube and the black box of the theatre. This grey zone is also the zone where people and objects become interchangeable, where life and death meet each other and therefore also man and the machine.

 

UNIT was made in the context of IN VOID II, an installation circuit in which machines and objects shape a ‘world without us’. The underlying question arising from UNIT is that of the place of man in a world in which he has become totally redundant. What does it mean to perform next to machines that cannot be differentiated from one’s self, or that in a certain way do things better than you? What is human existence in an aggressive, technological environment?

 

In UNIT, human beings are perfectly replaceable. When we have to live together with intelligent objects that we have created ourselves and with which we will share rights and duties, the existential question of what it means to be human becomes increasingly wry. Most machines are indifferent to our presence. In a very simple manner, Kris Verdonck illustrates this “interchangeability” and redundancy without the notion of making a judgement. In this performance it is more about the reaction of the onlooker who is confronted with their own fears and expectations.

Concept and production : Kris Verdonck
Dramaturgy : Kristof Van Baarle
Technical coordination : Jan Van Gijsel 
Technical assistance : 
Koen Roggen
Installation and costume design : Eefje Wijnings
Production: A Two Dogs Company
Coproduction: Naves Matadero (ES)
With the support of : Tax Shelter scheme of the Belgian Federal Government, the Flemish Authorities, the Flemish Community Commission
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