© Jorn Heijdenrijk

I know that strictly speaking
you did not ask a question, but
shall we try to answer it
anyway without

The polycoproduction group that counts a.o. de KOE, STAN and maatschappij Discordia among its members has existed since the 90s. Atelier, the latest offshoot of this partnership, was first presented in the spring of 2017 by Matthias de Koning, Damiaan De Schrijver, and Peter Van den Eede. They started their study of the actor's trade in Vandeneedevandeschrijvervandekoningendiderot, and pick it up again in Atelier. Do theater makers have a studio, like sculptors and painters do, a place where their ideas may or may not materialize, and if so, what does that studio look like? What kind of work do we do, where and how and when and why? Is it work? How do we portray characters? What do we emphasize? Are we a tableau? Are we our own and each other's model? Are we a self-portrait? Looking and being looked at, history, art, life as frames, mounts, edgings for the expressions on the canvas of our skin. Rebuilding and then demolishing the fourth ‘walls’ in a bifrontal or quadrifrontal setting. A laboratory investigation of naturalism, realism, hyperrealism.

Large windows casting cold October light onto our innermost feelings. Wrapping up air. Sanding down wooden planks. Eating potatoes. Cooking mussels. Pissing beside the urinal. Writing a farewell letter. (To paint with words) Removing an appendix. Sitting. Someone rings the bell. A door. A gap. A stain. A raft. Pitch-black. A raft.

An important theme of the piece – does the artist still have the time and space to explore and reflect? – is the subject of a symposium instigated by ARIA (Antwerp Research Institute for the Arts) in association with the theatre-makers, which will take place on 18 and 19 October 2018. More info.

By and with Matthias de Koning, Damiaan De Schrijver and Peter Van den Eede
Sound, lighting and set design Bram De Vreese, Tim Wouters and Pol Geusens
Costumes Elisabeth Michiels
Production de KOE, STAN and Maatschappij Discordia
Special thanks to Steen en Been, Marlene De Smet
With the support of the Flemish authorities