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Memories Of The future

Judith Marseille

Memories of the future. Fake news for Mars by TAMTAM

Science fiction says more about the times we live in than about the distant future. TAMTAM’s new performance, Memories of the future, which premiered on January 5, 2023 in Deventer, the company’s home base, is, of course, not an optimistic performance. The fact that it does not succumb to heaviness is due to the characteristic way in which TAMTAM allows the viewer to largely construct the story in his own head. Memories is introduced with the solemn, nature film-like voice-over of the English writer/scientist Redmond O’Hanlon. The stage image is powerful and an art installation in itself: an animation studio packed with miniature visual technology, a laptop and a set of shelves in which the ‘actors’, the objects, patiently await their turn. The small sets area pleasure to look at, even apart from their dramatic setting. They are crafted with great attention to detail and evoke associations with the nightmarish installations of the American artist Edward Kienholz. The images, composed on the spot in a precise choreography for two performers, are shown on a large screen, using resources from the ‘big’ cinematography: blends, dolly, zoom and crane shots. Even a drone is simulated. The music and soundtrack, composed and edited by Gérard Schiphorst, lend a beautiful, almost meditative undertone to the action.

Organised hoarding has been TAMTAM’s trademark for forty years, and the objects assembled for Memories, in all their humility and decay, have great expressiveness. As for science fiction – Memories is set in the year 2250 – the performance has a remarkably nostalgic atmosphere. It is not the flashy smartphone of 2023 that will be excavated by archaeologists in 2250, but an old little Nokia that almost naturally transforms into a touching, anthropomorphic creature with the help of some stingy pieces of metal. The unisex costumes in which Marije van der Sande and Gérard Schiphorst appear are reminiscent of the 1960s series Startrek. In the midst of all the dystopian menace, there is also a place for humor. What does a mummy do who arises from the death after thousands of years do? He scratches his behind. TAMTAM is concerned about the world, but refrains from pointing a moralistic finger and thanks to the ‘show, don’t tell’ principle, Memories will continue to haunt your mind for a long time to come.

( This review has yet to appear but was already sent to us by the author)

The world of puppetry (NL)

Judith Marseille