fbpx Biennale Teatro 2023 | FC Bergman - Het Land Nod
La Biennale di Venezia

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FC Bergman - Het Land Nod

Length / Year:95’, 2015 (Italian premiere)
By:FC Bergman: Stef Aerts, Joé Agemans, Bart Hollanders, Matteo Simoni, Thomas Verstraeten, Marie Vinck
With:Stef Aerts, Joé Agemans, Geert Goossens, Bart Hollanders, Thomas Verstraeten, Marie Vinck, Matteo Simoni
Sound design:Diederik De Cock, in collaboration with FC Bergman
Lighting design:Ken Hioco, in collaboration with FC Bergman
Production management:Celine van der Poel
Technical production management:Diederik Hoppenbrouwers / Tom van Aken
Lighting:Diederik Suykens
Stage:Dominick Geentjens, Friedemann Koch, Ward Vandenbossche
Sound:Steven Bontinck
Dresser:Monique van Hassel
Costume realisation:Monique van Hassel, Erna van Goethem, Christiane De Feyter
Set realisation:Jan Palinckx, Patrick Jacobs, Karl Sneider, Bram Rombouts, Sam Verdonck, Marjan Verachtert, Jolien Degrave, Gaby Martins Mateus, Menno Vandevelde, Frederik Liekens
Props:Maarten Wagemans, Celine van der Poel
Produced by:Toneelhuis
With the support of:PHLIPPO Productions, AGFA Graphics, Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten Antwerpen (KMSKA)


They have brought the public into a large hall built among backdrops of ships towering over the port of Antwerp (Terminator Trilogy); transformed the parterre of a theatre into a marble pool, with the actors along the edges and the spectators looking down from the loges (About Reynard the Fox); built a 4-storey theatre complete with elevator, 24 rooms, a metro station, cinema, minimarket, where the stories were taking place simultaneously on each floor (J.R.); extended the stage beyond a giant transparent wall into a forest of ferns (Van der Vos); immersed the audience and actors into a village surrounded by a pine forest (300el x 50el x 30el). These are the imaginative, grandiose, totally “out of scale” architectures with which the FC Bergman collective challenges the physical space of theatre creating personal and “polyphonic” spectacle-worlds in which every ingredient – text, gesture, sets, music, actors – is on the same level, merging into one single choreography.

The Land of Nod is another chapter in the impossible challenges of the Flemish collective, winners of the Biennale Teatro 2023 Silver Lion. For The Land of Nod the actors/directors/artists of FC Bergman – Stef Aerts, Joa Agemans, Thomas Verstraeten and Marie Vinck – have reproduced an exact full-scale copy of the striking Sala Rubens (with a height of up to 10 metres, a length of 28 metres and a width of 12) in the Royal Museum of Fine Arts in Antwerp, reconstructed for La Biennale in a warehouse in the industrial zone of Marghera.

The empty space is dominated by the majestic painting by Peter Paul Rubens known as Le Coup de lance (1618 ca.), a 3 by 4 metre crucifixion that has to be removed for restoration, but cannot fit through a human-scale door. On the one hand, size and distances that engage the actors (one curator, two guards, three visitors inspired by Godard’s Bande à part) and the spectators in a common sense of loss. On the other, an art museum that houses a powerful religious symbol, a shelter, a Noah’s ark, a place where humanity can try to escape its own Land of Nod, the place where Cain was exiled after killing Abel. But “the museum may also be seen as a metaphor for Europe – suggests Stef Aerts: a world that was wonderful to live in, but is now falling apart and needs to be renewed. A world in which religious influence can neither be erased nor ignored as easily as we thought” (La Lettura, 5 Feb. 2023).

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