What do you get when you combine every unexecuted idea in your studio to create a single show?
A tunnel from the national bank
to the florist’s across the road,
a boat on top of the roof of a building,
a collection of malfunctioning rat traps,
a collection of punctured footballs,
a show that never starts,
in which you die a hundred times,
a tiny paper fox.
These are all Benjamin Verdonck’s ideas. The one thing they have in common is that they have never progressed beyond ideas. Somewhere along the artistic process they became darlings to be killed. Just like a gleaner would walk behind the mower to glean the left-behind ears, Benjamin Verdonck is collecting every unexecuted idea in AREN. At least this way, something good may come of them, things he couldn’t have come up with himself.
Benjamin Verdonck (1972) is an actor, writer, visual artist and theatre maker. He lives and works in Antwerp. He performs both in regular theatres and in public spaces. For theatre venues he makes table-top theatre like notallwhowanderarelost (2014) and Waldeinsamkeit (2018), which both came to Tweetakt. His work in public space includes Bara/ke 2000 (a treehouse in the heart of the city), Hirondelle / Dooi Vogeltje / The Great Swallow (a bird’s nest nestled 100 feet above the ground against an office building). His work of art de finale was presented at Fort Ruigenhoek in 2015: an underwater football pitch with two goals submerged in the moat. His work can be described as an ongoing stream of performances, installations and table-top theatre based on a single question: how to visualise the absence of public debate about the unavoidable changes to our ecosystem. Benjamin has been a maker with Toneelhuis since 2006. His Liedje voor Gigi is also coming to this year’s Tweetakt.