Gob Squad (GB/DE)
1984: BACK TO NO FUTURE
16 - 17 March 2022 h. 20.00
“Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.”
George Orwell: “Nineteen Eighty-Four”
Gob Squad travel back to 1984, back to the good old analogue days when life was simple and there were only three channels on TV. It’s a perilous journey: they might get lost in music, lost in nostalgia or both. But once they arrive, they discover their younger selves: caught up in the Cold War, fearful of nuclear catastrophe, trying to shape who they might become.
As they sift through the fragments of their teenage bedrooms, they reconstruct their own personal past, and the music drags them into a psychedelic virtual world of disembodied avatars. Under surveillance and under pressure, they fight, dance, build a nuclear shelter and try to dismantle what may have been written into their programming codes. Were these teenagers in control of their bodies, their fate and their ability to change things? Or were they following ready-made templates, part of a larger plan? Can they re-programme their own story, and influence the currents of history? Or at least see it through different eyes? As Gob Squad warp time and go back to a past which saw ‘No Future’, are they able to shed light on the present, and gain a perspective on what lies ahead?
The new production follows in the tradition of other works by Gob Squad, which reimagine and recast YouTube videos, Hollywood films and Andy Warhol art movies. The project brings to a head the company’s ongoing examination of the mechanisms of power inherent in our image-saturated world and the relationship of personal experience to political reality. In Gob Squad’s work, everyday life and magic, banality and utopia, reality and entertainment are all set on a collision course. The audience is invited into a world of light and shadow to bear witness to an experiment in performative science-fiction and imaginary time-travel. Nothing less than the future itself is at stake…
info in English and Italian – duration 90 min.
Concept and Direction Gob Squad; Performance Johanna Freiburg, Sean Patten, Sharon Smith, Berit Stumpf, Sarah Thom, Bastian Trost, Simon Will, Damian Rebgetz and Tatiana Saphir; Sound Design
Sebastian Bark, Catalina Fernandez; Sound Mix Isabel Gonzalez Toro; Video Design Miles Chalcraft, Noam Gorbat; Costume Design Ingken Benesch; Set Design Amina Nouns; Lighting Design and Technical Management
Chris Umney, Max Wegner; Dramaturgy and Production Management Christina Runge; VR Consultancy, Development and Design Joris Weijdom; Artistic Collaboration Mat Hand; Directing Assistant Valeria Germain; Costume Assistant Simon Kernen; Set Design Assistant Stella Nikisch; VR Assistant Diede Tap; Directing Intern Rodrigo Zorzanelli Cavalcanti; Gob Squad Management Eva Hartmann; PR/Communications Alexandra Lauck; UK Producer Ayla Suveren.
A production by Gob Squad. In co-production with HAU Hebbel am Ufer Berlin, The Public Theater NY (USA), Schauspiel Leipzig, Anuja Ghosalkar / Drama Queen & Goethe-Institut/Max Mueller Bhavan Mumbai (India), HELLERAU – European Center for the Arts Dresden, Sort / Hvid Copenhagen and Teater Momentum Odense (Denmark).
GOB SQUAD is a bisexual, binational and bilingual (English/German) art collective. They have been devising, directing and performing together since 1994, working where theatre meets art, media and real life. Gob Squad have been looking for new ways to combine media and performance, producing theatre, video installations, radio plays, interactive live films and urban interventions.
Founded in Nottingham in 1994, while its members were still at Nottingham Trent and Giessen Universities, Berlin has been the group’s creative home since 1999. The main members are Johanna Freiburg, Sean Patten, Sharon Smith, Berit Stumpf, Sarah Thom, Bastian Trost and Simon Will. Other artists are invited to collaborate on particular projects. The group is managed by Eva Hartmann.
under the patronage of