Image: Ogutu Muraya as Wangari Maathai
by Diana Blok
September 1st until October 6 2019
Opening and Amsterdam premiere September 1st 4 pm with opening speeches by Chris Keulemans and Embajada de Uruguay
Gender Monologues is an interactive media installation about our historical and cultural understanding of gender beyond stereotypes. Diana Blok challenges static, mental and cultural conventions by giving back the imagination to the limitations on gender and sexual identity.
We experience twelve life-size video portraits on six screens of actors and actresses, performing their dream character of the opposite sex. Diana Blok intends to explore how individuals with a history of creating theatrical illusions, relate to their own intimate role-playing fantasies, crossing gender boundaries and finding ways to display them for the public viewing. The viewer will explore a well-known face, recognizable under the assumed fictitious identity and explore an unknown face in a known role.
During the 72 minute-installation all actors remain present, while only one voice speaks at a time. Between silence and the spoken word, the intrinsic tension of border zones is redefined and turned into a poetic exercise of alterity. The result is multidimensional: portraits of our time containing speeches and visions that bring revealing thoughts and insightful conversations about identity, revolution and desire in what feels like a personal confrontation with each actor.
The merging of literature, performance, film, the criss-crossing of time & genders, invites us to rethink our biases about one art form taking precedence over another. There is an interesting suspension between the real and the imaginary. The audience experiences the presence of all actors silently facing the public, confronting themselves with being present in silence as in their particular roles as one character speaks. The interaction which occurs amongst them generates the illusion that they are actually reacting to each other and maintaining a kind of dialogue.
Between theatre and film, literature and photography, voice, movement, and the diversity of cultures, we recognize in this piece the potential to create a global dialogue. Recently in Paramaribo actors were added, who selected the roles of Marilyn Monroe and James Baldwin and now in Amsterdam we count with the presence of Claron McFadden,Vanja Rukovina Karina Holla and Levi de Kleer all in the manifestation of their character of choice. Each actor’s choice is a reflection of their own culture, creating in this way a ‘cross-casted library of cultures’. Intercultural participation is an essential element of this installation. Each actor speaks the monologue in the language of his/her choice (English subtitling provided).
Gender Monologues was selected by ‘Dutch Manifestations Abroad’ with the Dutch Performing Arts Fund in 2016, making it possible to realize the pilot project in Rio de Janeiro in collaboration with TEMPO FESTIVAL, and including four distinguished Brazilian actors. The result was beyond expectation, reaching a total of 21,500 visitors in 13 weeks.
The installation premiered in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 in collaboration with TEMPO Festival, continued to CCBB in Brasilia and then to Paramaribo. In each city local actors/performers are added.
The presentation in Amsterdam will present twelve actors instead of six, creating new interactions and exploring other relationships of the monologues in dialogue amoungst each another.
Abke Haring as Hamlet (NL)
Claron McFadden as Orfeu Negro (USA)
Cas Enklaar as Madame Lubov (NL)
Grace Passo as Martin Luther King Jr.(BRA)
Helen Kamperveen as James Baldwin (SUR)
Levi de Kleer as Pina Bausch (NL)
Karina Holla as Max (NL)
Mateus Solano as Cinderella (BRA)
Matheus Nachtergaele as His Mother (BRA)
Purcy Tjin as Marilyn Monroe (SUR)
Ogutu Muraya as Wangari Maathai (KEN)
Vanja Rukavina as Cleopatra (BOS/NL)
Gender Monologues team
Diana Blok – director, camera
Pawel Pokutycki – interactive media designer
Glauber Coradesqui – dramaturge
Karin van Dijk – makeup artist
Inge Weeda – sound technician
Kindly supported by
AFK, BeamSystems and Embajada del Uruguay
Alongside the installation in Nieuw Dakota there will be several thematically related exhibitions, artist talks and performances in different locations:
30th of July: Queer Currents: Arti et Amicitae, “ Gender Dialogues’, moderator Andrea van Pol, performance by Goran Turnsek
4th of September: Photo020: ‘Aan tafel met Diana Blok’ on Gender Monologues
8th of September: opening Etalages West, Prints ‘Adventures in Cross Casting’ at Etalage West
11th of September: OBA – de Hallen, Artists Talk on Gender Monologues in the exhibition ‘I challenge you to love me’ (on show from 11-7 until 15-9)
13th, 14th and 15th of September: Staatsgeheimen, (open studios Tweede Nassau Studios), Gender Monologues preview in atelier Diana Blok together with Pawel Pokutycki
21st of September: Open Gallery Night Unseen, Artist Talk with Vanja Rukavina, 5 pm
26th of September: Teatro Munganga, performance Thais di Marco (inspired on Gender Monologues), 8pm
27th of September: Nederlandse Foto Museum: panel ‘Waarom we preutser zijn dan ooit tevoren’, invited on the occasion of Gender Monologues, from 7 until 9 pm
Framer Framed (Oost), Artists Talk (t.b.a.)
4th of October: The Catch, Thomas Möhlmann and Cas Enklaar, artist talk, from upon 5 pm at Nieuw Dakota