IMAGE-TUBE THEMATISES THE DISTANCE OF ONLINE PERFORMANCES
By Henri Drost
Seen on July 18, 2020, Bergkerk, Deventer
No trips to major festivals in Spain, Portugal, Germany, China, Austria, Poland, Iceland and Switzerland, but a new one-on-one performance in their own city. With a homemade theatre tube, which was found in the rubbish container of the neighbours (an installation company) of Objektentheater TAMTAM.
Upon entering the most beautiful church in Deventer, the nine-meter-long red carpet leading to a tube on wheels immediately attracts attention. The red sign attached to it says: “The Tube One Person Miniature Theater”. Not a random red, but identical to the red from the YouTube logo. The well-known start symbol is also included. There are height-adjustable stools on either side of the tube.
Even before the visitor has taken a seat, The tube is already an autonomous theatrical installation that plays with distance and intimacy. After all, you cannot be much more intimate than a one-on-one performance, but the tube that separates the performer and the spectator is 2.60 meters long. But what the viewer sees in The tube is then created in front of their own eyes, whereby the viewing tube does not distract, but acts like binoculars and forces one to look concentratedly and shields from external stimuli – or pixels.
The performances themselves are miniatures that last approximately two minutes and contain subtle references to the corona crisis, by playing with found objects such as a cleaning mop (in The nest), protective gloves, or in the nostalgic Roadtrip in which the large and anonymous city gives way to trees. and finding each other again. And the ship in Seaview can be interpreted as the sinking ship on which a large part of the cultural sector is currently sailing. But something like a narrative is not the main point of The tube. The core is the image-tube that keeps players Gérard Schiphorst and Marije van der Sande away from the visitors and in the same time connects with them.
The Tube is primarily a plea for live (object) theater, playing, discovering together and giving meaning. In this form, TAMTAM also thematises the enormous distance between maker and viewer in registrations and Zoom performances, which many theater companies have also resorted to. What all streaming sites lack is the ritual, the sacred (certainly in the Bergkerk church) that is inherent in any form of theater. And thus The tube also makes it painfully clear how unreal this moment is.