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  • Writer's pictureVeronika Bajnoková

Final Event of Immersive Installation to Happen This Weekend in Groningen

As part of their experimental collaboration, two local art platforms will host the final event of the immersive exhibition 9 this Saturday in Groningen. To create an unforgettable experience, the performers will interact with the audience through dance at the site of the audiovisual installation.

The exhibition 9 premiered last May in MOBi container at Suikerterrein as a cooperation between the art gallery NP3 and the dance theatre collective Teddy’s Last Ride. Its final event on Saturday, October 7th will feature a preview of the experimental dance performance Goodbye_porn, “the rave in the making.”

The dance of the proteins

In the immersive installation, the audience is invited to observe the process of growing up embodied by two avatars in the form of protein structures. This audiovisual presentation is accompanied by a dazzling play of strobe lights and colorful lasers piercing through clouds of smoke that fill up the entire room.

The immersive installation 9 © NP3

“Proteins are important for becoming,” says Zwaan Ipema, the business director of NP3, while explaining the simulation on the screen. “In the beginning, there’s a small protein that’s growing just like you.”

As the proteins interact with each other, they take different shapes and move around the display. “What you see happening is two people existing as they dance,” explains Zwaan. Indeed, the movement of the proteins follows a pre-recorded dance performance by two people, which one can watch on the screen in a separate room.

The dancing duo that breathes life into the proteins are Teddy’s Last Ride performers from a previous play called 9 Weeks from Now. The former project came to life amidst the Covid pandemic. Agnese Fiocchi, the creative director of Teddy’s Last Ride, says she was “getting so fed up” with not being able to perform during the lockdown.

The protein structure which follows the movement of the dancers © NP3

That’s why Agnese says she was glad and honored to collaborate with NP3 on installation 9 as it provides an opportunity to “sustainably recycle” 9 Weeks from Now and give the old project a different life.

Deconstruction of gender binary

The former play tells a personal story of Teddy’s director Andy Smart in relation to his family dynamics and the journey of growing up. Number 9 carries a symbolic meaning, referring to the first nine weeks of pregnancy before a baby’s gender is determined.

The concept of gender is central to installation 9. “You come into this world as a woman, and you have a different spot in this already organized society than a man,” says Zwaan. The installation reflects on the performers’ personal point of view on how gender affected their upbringing and attempts to break down the binary of man and woman.

“It’s about the struggle of being yourself and being respectful to each other,” Zwaan explains. “You don’t have to understand everyone in this life but give them the respect they deserve.”

The dialogue between the two proteins is narrated by AI-generated voices of Lady Gaga and Freddie Mercury who, according to Zwaan, are the embodiment of “not caring what others say about you.”

The experimental dance performance Goodbye_porn, “the rave in the making” © Knelis

Preview of Teddy’s new experiment

Goodbye_porn is an interactive dance performance connecting kink, club life, and theatre space. Agnese explains the audience's response to the intense, and sometimes explicit content is part of the experiment: “It's not something that you can just create alone in a studio, forgetting about the rest of the world and then perform.”

The experimental dance performance Goodbye_porn, “the rave in the making” © Nienke Maat

The dancers will perform with a live DJ. The entrance is free before 21:19, after that, the fee is 5 euros, including a welcome drink. Everyone is invited to join the afterparty after the performance.

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