Creation (Pictures for Dorian)

Gob Squad
The initial source of Gob Squad’s new performance is Oscar Wilde’s novel “The picture of Dorian Gray”. Its crucial point of reference is the Faustian pact which the protagonist makes to save his body from decay: He allows a painting of himself to age instead. In this digital age where identities can be constructed and manipulated at random and are assigned market value by the addition of a click (“like” or “dislike”), the story of Dorian Gray’s narcissistic hedonism and inevitable doom can claim an unbroken topicality. Dorian Gray’s story seems to anticipate our bio-political era, where we are able to form our identities and our bodies and to shape them like a designer piece: the body as the ultimate artefact of the capitalist philosophy of life.

In a box covered in mirrors, three generations interact on stage: teenagers, middle-aged and elderly people. While the middle generation is represented by the company themselves, Gob Squad will cast the teenagers and senior citizens from among the people of Leipzig. During the course of the performance, the Gob Squad performers will be repeatedly replaced on stage by the younger or older guests, who will serve as their alter egos. The guests’ bodies will be borrowed for short moments, either to project onto them, to steal their stories or experiences or to see one’s own reflected in a different face or stage of life. “Creation (Pictures for Dorian)” produces images that show the body as artefact; a body unhappy and at odds with itself, caught up in constant struggle. “Creation (Pictures for Dorian)” renders it visible as a matrix of identities. The issue is the body as a boundary and space for potential – and related questions of visibility, technology, hedonism and morality.

The mirror box becomes a utopian space where performers can try on the experiences and identity of others and overwrite them with their own material. Live performance and video projections blend into an impelling, almost hallucinogenic feeling. The performers’ stories and actions intertwine, become blurred – and the time between past and future begins to oscillate.

Gob Squad are an English-German performance collective who conceive, produce and perform live events together. They have been developing work on the thresholds between theatre, performance, art and media since 1994. They presented their piece “Super Night Shot” at Residenz during the 2014/15 season; the co-production “War and Peace” was shown at the “Hinterbühne”-venue last season. “Creation (Pictures for Dorian)” is their second work to be co-produced by Schauspiel Leipzig. 

Performance in English and German
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Concept & Directors: Gob Squad
Performance: Berit Stumpf, Sarah Thom, Bastian Trost und Leipziger Gäste: Beatrice Cordua, Amy DeVil, Jacki Fahrenwald, Hansi Noack, Helga Sieler, Alejandro Vallejo
Outside Eye: Simon Will
Sounddesigner: Sebastian Bark, Jeff McGrory
Videodesigner: Miles Chalcraft
Costume Designer: Ingken Benesch
Set Realisation: Lena Mody
Light Designer & technical director: Chris Umney
Dramaturg & production management: Christina Runge
Artistic assistant: Mat Hand
Costume assistant: Claudia Gali
Set Realisation assistant: Julia Buntzel
Production assistant: Ben Mohai
Patty Hamilton, Amina Nouns
Gob Squad Management: Eva Hartmann
Tourmanager: Mat Hand
Ayla Suveren
Gob Squad