"In January, I traveled to Lagos, Nigeria to make a work about the possible future African exodus. But the performers of Kininso Koncepts were not keen on showing themselves as potential migrants. Rather, they reversed the long history of stereotyping, and centered their gaze on us Europeans. A camera team from Nollywood, the center of the African film industry, jumped on board. Armed with cameras, film lights and a high-speed Internet connection, they created a work about our European self-image as our future expectations here begin to falter. How persistent are images of ourselves and others? How long will we cling to our comfortable position of power?"
Dear beloved friend, is a performance played at the Seaside Cottage theater in Lagos and screened live over the Internet at Utrecht's Stadschouwburg.
"Verhoeven is a great master at coming up with the right form to go with the right subject... It has become one of his most political performances, about a continent that will flee en masse and another continent that doesn't know what to do with it." - De Volkskrant
After the performance on the 20th of May there will be an aftertalk with the performers. This aftertalk will be moderated by Maurice van Turnhout.
Dries Verhoeven is a theatre maker and visual artist. He has been a member of the Academy of Arts since 2020. He creates installations, performances and happenings in museums, on location and in a city's public space. On the border between performance and installation art, he challenges the relationships between spectators, performers, everyday reality and art. The spectator is directly involved in the work or given the opportunity to direct his own experience.
In his work, Verhoeven marks aspects of the social reality we live in. He is not concerned with conveying a position in relation to that reality, but much more about activating the viewer's thinking, urging critical reflection. He hopes to cast doubt on the dominant systems that imperceptibly define our lives and thinking. In recent years, it has included current crisis thinking and the influence of digital media on interpersonal relations that have prompted a work.