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No Problem came out in 1999 and was performed until 2003. It was one of TAMTAM’s most elaborate and innovative performances. A true crossover between theatre, visual art, music and video.
On the stage was a large black box, an image machine. It framed wonderful object numbers. A ballet of rusty pincers, a toolbox turned into a rusty building, menacing object-battle machines preparing for their fight against humans. The objects and decor pieces used were works of art in themselves. Clever lighting created surreal images and atmospheres, as well as humorous scenes with recognisable confrontations between people and objects. Like a glimpse into the disastrous household of a single mother, a live operation or a flight in a Russian missile, seen from the cockpit. All this was played by two players and two technicians who also played behind the scenes. There was only a camera set up between the audience to show the performers the image that they were making. All stage tech was operated behind the screen by the 4 performers. Check this backstage video to see how it worked!
In the same frame, video clips ( See the compilation video) and live animations alternated. The video told the story of the liberation of objects in images and short texts. A large part of the video footage was shot in New York, the mother of all objects, and then edited with both a computer and low-tech means. Then texts, animations and sound were added.
There was also sound, almost continuously. A soundtrack composed to the images, the music with a nod to heroes such as The Residents, Gong, Future Sound of London or Fat Boy Slim. Mixed with sampled city sounds, electronic toys, and object noise. And now and then a touch of blues, fanfare or electronic sixties organ.
The production of this performance started with building a number of test sets on the one hand, and on the other an audition for objects that were screened for their theatrical and monumental talents. The final selection of object actors formed the basis for the story and the various themes in the performance.
A number of fellow visual theater makers and artists were invited to adopt and guide a scene as an inspirator or third eye. They were Terry Lee ( Green Ginger, UK) Jorg Baesecke (Kleinste Bühne Der Welt, D) Henk Boerwinkel ( Theater Triangel, NL) Otto te Wierik (NL)
The publicity text at that time sounded like this:
Our world from the point of view of the objects.
The last record of the revolt of the objects against the humans.
On stage a big black box. Is it the black box of a crashed civilisation? Its frame opens to show amazing objectstories.
A ballet of rusty pliers, a toolbox transforming into a old tenement, a live operation, a flight in a Russian spacecraft or menacing object-machines preparing for the final battle.
Imagine a surreal world where the familiar becomes remarkable: Every object has its objectstory to tell. Before your eyes bizarre images and atmospheres arise and close encounters between humans and objects. All performed live by two players and two technicians
Imagine video images and animated scenes emerging in the same transforming frame. The video narrates the story and the live scenes illustrate significant moments of object-life.
Imagine a soundtrack composed to the images. Its music winking an eye at illustrious bands like the Residents, Gong, Future Sound Of London or Fat Boy Slim. Sampled city sounds, electronic toys and objectnoise can also be heard. With now and then a whiff of blues, brass-band, opera and awful sixties organ.
Volkskrant and other newspapers
Gérard Schiphorst: artistic director, stage designer and engineer, composer, vidiot and performer
Marije van der Sande: scenario-, image- & story-consultant, performer
Eric Langendoen: Performer, assistant set design and construction”.
Marjolein Kassenaar: Performer, assistent video editing
Bert Nijmeijer, Joris van Welsen, Nanda Coppens: performers
Henk Boerwinkel, Terry Lee, Jörg Baesecke, Otto te Wierik: Inspirators
Ed Bouwman: Electronics, advice set design
Albert Dedden: Set constructions
Willem Taverne: assistant research.
Lucie d’Herbécourt, Marja Zerec, Brendan Tangel, Ernstjan Klok: worskhops assistants