The World We Live In
Each and every one of us is constantly busy comparing ourselves with ourselves. We keep watch to make sure that we stay as we are. The elements that correspond to our image of ourselves we nurture and enjoy. We go out of our way to avoid everything else as if these parts do not belong in our world and we therefore may not do, have or be them. Naturally, this leads to slip-ups and mistakes but these are also very typically us. We want to (and must) stay as we are. This sense of self should be intensified if and when the opportunity arises as it is common knowledge that the self is a valuable asset but only when it is concise and well formed. However, we also know that the acts of belonging and being authentic can occasionally be stressful and also boring.
She She Pop invites you to embark upon an excursion into a different head. The World We Live In offers a place of asylum that lies beyond the repressive world of ones own identity, a reception camp for refugees fleeing from the land of self conformity. Unlike cosmetic surgery or the massage parlour where one attempts to make peace with ones self, this treatment consists of the socially psychedelic experience of inhabiting another identity. It is a view through different eyes, of a stranger’s shame, of other prides and ambitions, of new hopes, fears and unexpected devotions – namely those of somebody else.
Visitors to The World We Live In give themselves over to a course of self estrangement. It is a world where acquired skills become capabilities, subconscious gestures, small rituals, secret confessions, ingenious excuses and glamorous facades all become useful tools for survival. Following years of work She She Pop have reclaimed and re-appropriated this world. In short: it is the world of a person that we know, the name of whom will soon become apparent.
Made and performed by: She She Pop and Nir de Volff.
With: Sebastian Bark, Johanna Freiburg, Lisa Lucassen, Mieke Matzke and Nir de Volff
Scenery: Malve Lippmann and SSP.
Costume: Pieter Bax, Lea Søvsø.
Light Design: Micha Lentner-Niyorugira.
Sound: Florian Fischer.
Technical Direction: Holger Duwe.
Production: Jörg Karrenbauer.
Administration: Elke Weber.
Press and Public Relations: Björn Pätz.
Assistants: Christoph Macha, Hilde Tuinstra
A She She Pop production.
In Co-production with Hebbel-Am-Ufer Berlin and Kampnagel Hamburg.
premiere, March 2009, HAU 3
Funded by the Regierenden Bürgermeister Berlin – Senatskanzlei für Kulturelle Angelegenheiten, the Kulturbehörde der Freien und Hansestadt Hamburg and the Konzeptionsförderung des Fonds Darstellende Künste e.V. – from federal funding.
A holiday from the oppression of the self
I am Mieke. You are Mieke. We are all Mieke. In Berlin’s HAU 3 theatre, during a feature film length performance, we learn about the inner life and workings of the Art figure Mieke Matzke as presented to us by four fellow performers and Mieke Matzke herself.
As with other shows by the Giessen Applied Theatre Studies graduates, who now perform together as the collective She She Pop, the audience members become participants and players.
(…) What or rather who have we taken in during our time with She She Pop? The Mieke of this evening is neurotic, lonely and fragmented. She is a loose bunch of characteristics, a collection of dreamy, daily tasks, lovely quirks and sad rituals.
(…) The final song takes Mieke’s (and our) plight to a new level. “We know our stories, but we don’t know how they relate” Identity requires a central theme. Mieke, however, has entangled herself in her stories: Are the pictures in our heads only holiday snaps or imagined wishes?
(…) ‘Mieke’ becomes for us an imaginary friend like the ones that you have when you are a young child, a friend with which you can test out the relationships between yourself and the outside world.
Nachtkritik / Elena Philipp
She She Pop belong to the group of innovative Theatre Collectives working in Berlin at the moment.
The standard Theatrical separation between the performers and the Public has been cast aside like never before. There is no safety in the darkened rows of seats, only the play space between lit tents and cardboard stools.
In this environment She She Pop and Israeli guest Performer Nir de Volff invite you to a masked ball of sorts. The slipping on of another identity with all of it’s performed frictions and emotionlessness
(…) Occasionally there are flashes of self irritation or a peculiar empathy with what we can see of the strange inner life of Mieke.
Ute Büsing – Info Radio/Culture Show – March, 24th, 2009
Whether the experiment works or not depends, in the end, on the audience
The friendly and determined invitation to put on a new face left me with no choice. Obediently I squatted on a stool and, along with my neighbours left and right, drew my new identity onto a cut out paper mask following the stencil. (…) The stranger’s eyes belong to Mieke Matzke, one of the members of Performance group She She Pop. The theatre becomes a roll play area. In small groups e are divide up and embark upon a journey into the inner world of Mieke.(…) The work of She She Pop consists of participatory organized chaos in which the way out is always clearly signposted. Whether the experiment works or not depends, in the end, on the audience.
Gerd Brendel, DeutschlandRadio Kultur, March, 23rd, 2009