Dries Verhoeven

But also
Persis Bekkering

It’s so easy, they all say. The risk is minimal. Once you’ve crossed the line, once you’ve broken through the invisible wall that once seemed so impenetrable, thick with thousands of years of encrusted ethics spelling ‘Thou shalt not steal…’ - Persis Bekkering

Is stealing and looting the future? In the durational performance Everything Must Go, Dries Verhoeven examines shoplifting. The late-capitalist human tries to survive in a system that has lost its luster, without sight of an alternative in the meantime. Everything must go, but in favor of what?

In a time when we like to display our good behavior, Verhoeven focuses on the socially undesirable. Because how exemplary are we when we think we are unobserved, for example at the self-checkout? Verhoeven engaged in conversations with more and less affluent people who occasionally 'forget' to pay, with thieves in detention, and with those who consider theft a form of resistance. He invited the proletarian shoppers and self-proclaimed Robin Hoods to self-examination. The result is a grim imagination of the dark depths of our moral actions. Everything Must Go premieres at Nieuw Dakota during the Holland Festival.

Since the introduction of self-checkouts, shoplifting has increased. Dries Verhoeven saw it as a reason to investigate the moral frictions of our late-capitalist society. Behind the innocent decision to let that one piece of ginger slide into the bag unscanned, lies a societal change, a shift in what we as a society deem right and permissible.

Dries Verhoeven (1976 Oosterhout, Netherlands) is a theater maker and visual artist. Since 2020, he has been a member of the Akademie van Kunsten. He creates installations, performances, and happenings in museums, on location, and in the public space of a city. Blurring the lines between performance and installation art, he sharpens the relationships between spectators, performers, everyday reality, and art. The spectator is directly involved in the work or given the opportunity to steer their own experience.

In his work, Verhoeven marks aspects of the socio-political reality in which we live. It is not about conveying a position towards that reality, but much more about activating the viewer's thinking, prompting critical reflection. He hopes to sow doubt about the dominant systems that subtly determine our lives and thinking. In recent years, it has been, among other things, the current crisis thinking and the influence of digital media on interpersonal relationships that have provided the inspiration for a work.

Standard €15,-
CJP/student/school student €11,-
to be purchased via Holland Festival
Stadspas €5,- available at the entrance

Everything Must Go can be visited on June 7, 8, 9 & 12, 13, 14, 15, 16. More information about specific times can be found here.

With thanks to
AFK, Fonds Podiumkunsten (Netherlands Performing Arts Fund), the Municipality of Amsterdam and the Municipality of Utrecht.