A journey to the frontiers of theatre, documentary and installation art. A microcosm of life in society, a scathing and ferociously human portrait.
The Real West
Bonanza is the smallest town in Colorado, with seven people and five houses. Despite its beautiful natural setting, it is no paradise. A prosperous place in times gone by, the former mining town is now home to a handful of people, some imbued with dubious spirituality, all accusing their neighbours of horrible crimes. Relations slowly deteriorated, profoundly poisoned by squabbles, pettiness and nasty rumours.
A scale model of the town with its five houses, adjacent but isolated units, hangs above five screens. Images of daily life are projected onscreen simultaneously, replete with candid confessions and malicious gossip, forming a dreadfully authentic portrait of these “characters” who seem all too real but also like they have just stepped out of a movie by the Coen brothers.
The Belgian group Berlin has imagined this journey to the frontiers of theatre, documentary and installation art. Bonanza is compelling as a microcosm of life in society, a scathing and ferociously human picture.
Passionate about city residents – their motivations and concerns – the trio has drawn compelling portraits of cities such as Jerusalem (2004), Bonanza (2006), Iqaluit (2005) andMoscow (2009). Presented in both theatres and museums, their work has been shown in Amsterdam, Berlin, Paris, Oslo, Copenhagen, Barcelona, Lisbon, South Korea, Prague and New York. They recently embarked on a new cycle entitled Horror Vacui (fear of emptiness), consisting of chats with people unable or unwilling to enter into dialogue. They are brought together virtually around a table, with chairs equipped with monitors, in what appears to be a real conversation.
PRODUCED BY BERLIN
CREATED BY BERLIN (BART BAELE + YVES DEGRISE + CAROLINE ROCHLITZ)PHOTOGRAPHY BART BAELE + NICO LEUNEN EDITED BY BART BAELE SOUNDTRACK & MIXINGPETER VAN LAERHOVENRESEARCH BERLIN + NICO LEUNEN GRAPHICS GERJO VAN DAM SCALE MODEL KOEN DE CEULENEER
COPRODUCTION STUK (LOUVAIN) + KVS (BRUXELLES) + VOORUIT (GAND) WITH THE SUPPORT OFFLANDERS AUDIOVISUAL FUND + VILLE DE ANVERS + FLANDERS IMAGE
WITH THE SUPPORT OF FLEMISH MINISTERY OF CULTURE
PRESENTED IN ASSOCIATION WITH MONUMENT-NATIONAL
PREMIERED AT KUNSTENCENTRUM STUK, LOUVAIN (BELGIUM), DECEMBER 2006
WRITTEN BY DIANE JEANTRANSLATED BY NEIL KROETSCH
COLLECTIF BERLIN (ANVERS)
BERLIN / Coming Soon to a Screen Near You
Take a look at the people in a small town, linger to describe a microcosm of human beings united geographically.
Listen to them speak and film them. Then examine the raw material, make choices, build a set that includes several screens, polish the sound and lighting. Thus is an interdisciplinary piece born, a work that is as much documentary film as theatrical installation. The spectator sits in front of several screens, deciding what to watch in this presentation by Bart Baele, Yves Degryse and Caroline Rochlitz, the three members of the Berlin collective, a company created in 2003.