SPRING on Screen
nog te zien t/m 31 mei

What remains of nature lies in wait for this annihilation to be over


The stage is still, vast and dark, the crowd before it waits silently for SOMETHING (out of nothing) to begin.

With the tiniest glimmer of light revealing her existence, a woman sits in the back left corner of the stage.
She doesn’t make eye contact or break the atmosphere with her voice.
She has a cello.

A minimalistic string plucking commences.
It is not song but the sound of something happening.
My eyes are fixed upon her, in trepidation for what will happen next.

A small blue imperfect orb begins its descent from the ceiling.
There is haze around this unknown shape, it brings a further mystery to what it is composed of?
Is it purely light?
Is it physical?
As time unfurls, so does the orb.
It slowly opens into a full form.
Although abstract it has a stem and what looks like a flower at the top.
My mind decides this is an unusual type of tulip.

As fast and as alien as it grew before us, it shrivels, deflates and retracts its bodily form within itself and disappears from sight, leaving us questioning what it was that we had just witnessed.

With the stage empty apart from the silent cellist, a voice broadcasts.
It’s the sort of accent I can imagine global-English sounding like in futuristic times, it is well polished and perhaps Canadian.

Her speech is allegory, directed toward ‘you’ but the identity of ‘you’ is unestablished.
She speaks from a place of helplessness, a time after the destruction of the earth and all things natural, she is unable to restore the damages we have inflicted.
She addresses the audience as ‘you,’ seemingly I and every audience member has a role in the descent of the earth as we know it.

Ending this segment of speech, she asks whether she can tell us a story.
We learn of an island ‘we would call paradise,’ where it was believed that spirits live in the trees and if a person was to cut a tree down, certain death equated.

One day a man travels to another island and buys a chainsaw.
He returns and fells a tree.
Nothing happens.
Humanity is in disbelief.
They too begin to cut the trees they had once held with such esteem.

And thus the story begins to (as the unknown object before us had) unfold.

Four people enter the stage, two wear pink dresses in slightly different patterns and cuts.
The other two, grey suits similar to each other but not the same.
Instead of skin, their bodies are encased in black fabric, their heads with domed masks.
In the right light, you can just catch a glimpse of what may be a face underneath.

Their bodies are tireless, they sway their arms and test the extents of their physicality.
It reminds me of when you are a child and your teacher tells everyone to wait and be silent in the classroom.
They silently interact with their surrounds, with the others around them.
There is this feeling that they have entirely nothing to do, an aimless boredom consumes the stage.

Part absurd, part surreal, in this initial sequence, we witness a depiction of the first sign of the earths demise, humans no longer necessary, purposeless.

In segmented transitions, the voice returns narrating the development of global circumstances, the dancers portray the lessening control of individuals upon their altering physicality and unearthly forms proliferate, engorge and rescind.
Physical embodiments of the present impact of our obsession to ‘progress’.

The voice returns, there is a certain rage and surety in her words, her tone.
In these narrative sequences, she repeats certain phrases both convicted and broken by what she tells.

‘I cannot move, I cannot make whole what has been broken.’

She speaks of the decline of the earth.

‘I am afraid of the rain, the sun and the wind.’

Something once so natural has become insidious and toxic from the influence of humans.

The cello plucking and hisses become more and more rapid, both calculatedly controlled but entirely chaotic.

Dancers enter a new segment, their movements wilder than ever before.
They no longer have dresses nor suits.
Are they human?

The narrator returns.
She has heard the cries of nature that exist on another frequency, entirely inaudible to humanity.

The desire to ‘progress’ reigning so supreme that humans become entirely unaware of nature and blindly smother its attempts to communicate its suffering.

The unearthly forms that once innocuously descended from the ceiling have multiplied and exist alongside what were once humans.
They don’t seem to notice them.

‘The flowers are blooming but they have no scent.’
‘I cannot move, I cannot make whole what has been broken.’

The narrator speaks of the demise of our children, our partners and eventually our entire families.
When it happens we don’t believe it, despite living in the reality of this dystopia.

Alongside the road we have wrapped a deceased elderly woman and dead cow in the same plastic, world unbalanced.

We are unable to cope.

‘Trash is all that remains from progress.’

Black snow falls upon the earth.

Modified creatures roam, absorbing elements through their  anomalous forms, no longer human.

What remains of nature lies in wait for this annihilation to be over.

I start to wonder whether this narrator is intended as an embodiment of Mother Nature and perhaps it is only at this moment any of us have been able to hear her?

By Diana Story 
© Bas de Brouwer

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