Theaterkrant about
Memories of the future


Seen on January 5, 2023, MIMIK, Deventer

In Memories Of The Future, humanity returns to a destroyed Earth. Performed as a playful live animation, TAMTAM objektentheater shows the end of the ends in a nutshell. Leading is the bold nod to our contemporary media culture.

More than forty years of professionalism and skill are encapsulated in TAMTAM’s latest performance. The artist duo Gérard Schiphorst and Marije van der Sande have been making miniature theater since 1979, sometimes with and sometimes without a camera and projection. From their home base in Deventer, TAMTAM has already traveled all over the world, especially in France their work found a connection.

The premiere of Memories Of The Future in Theater and Film House MIMIK in Deventer is filled with peers. The performance starts with a short ritual in which the makers introduce themselves dressed in functional but also appropriate black clothing. The evening has a subtle gothic ‘mourning edge’! Is this also TAMTAM’s last performance; I wondered for a moment.

There is a screen on the right stage. On the left of the stage, in the sporadic light, a studio can be discerned where objects – carefully arranged on the shelves behind the work table – come to life. We mainly know the concept from the Rotterdam company Hotel Modern, which gained a lot of fame with it. All this time, TAMTAM operated more on the margins, especially in its own country. In Memories Of The Future, the duo mixes the live created images with some pre-prepared animations and a soundscape in which the voice of a newsreader (yes, the British travel writer and TV maker Redmond O Hanlon) has been incorporated.

A spaceship from Mars, carrying archaeologists lands on Earth. But what they find there is not very hopeful. The landscape is barren and scorched, although some remains can still be found. We get a detailed look at them. Of course, new life can also be created with these remains. Remarkable creatures made of pieces of paper, buttons and nails are shown, after all, everything is possible in this play with objects. Apparently the archaeologists have something to uphold with their trip, because with the idea that every news can also be manipulated, a fictional broadcast is put together with the found remains. In this way a kind of picture in picture effect is created; a fictional world inside a fictional world.

In their quasi-naive play with construction and destruction, TAMTAM easily exposes the most pressing environmental issues, since everything in this object performance revolves around manufacturability and (re)production. We saw the beautiful Alpine landscape – ingeniously made of postcards and jeans with paint stains – collapse just now, but in the remake it comes to life again. An old cookie box and an oldschool VW-van underline a sense of nostalgia.

Finally, a life-size baby marks the end of the ends, while Schiphorst and Van der Sande effectively break the boundaries of their own ‘laws’ by coming out from behind the work table and performing in the entire space. What a surprisingly beautiful contrast between the wandering elderly and the baby!

Memories Of The Future is never dogmatic in its poetic approach, it also feels a bit dated but of course it is also the nostalgic atmosphere with which the company slightly flirts. With some more editing and post premiere performing experience, the show will gain even more tension to get the potential ‘tam-tam’ even more off the ground.

Moos van den Broek