© luca mattei
    © luca mattei
    © luca mattei
    © luca mattei
    © luca mattei

the guardians of sleep

performance

While sleeping, the human body is vulnerable. A feeling of security and peace helps us every night to withdraw from the world. But what if the social protection as we know it, suddenly  falls apart?   

The Guardians of Sleep creates a quivering microcosm within  theatre’s  coordinates of time and space. Six performers disclose various levels of intimacy to the groups of spectators. By sharing individually their personal archive of visual memories, they unfold their own life stories.

This creates, gradually, a feeling of proximity and deep empathy between them and the audience. Once the narration comes to an end, the performers, one by one, let themselves fall asleep on stage. As they are falling asleep, they try to keep eye contact with their listeners, thus inviting them to take over the role of guardians of their sleep.   

Ambivalent relations between light and dark, activity and passivity, looking and  being  looked at  resonate  with  and against  one another. A look that often stays on the surface of things, in The Guardians of Sleep gets challenged by an act of exposed abandonment. How much responsibility can you take for someone you don’t know? When does the activity of looking at someone turn into watching over that person?

The Guardians of Sleep has been generated by and still nurtures performative practices and pedagogical processes within theatres, museum and educational spaces.

concept & direction
david weber-krebs
performance
julien bruneau, luanda casella, alondra castellanos arreola, matthew day, zoë demoustier, irena radmanovic
lighting design
jan fedinger, martin kaffarnik
costumes
anne-catherine kunz
dramaturgical advice
sébastien hendrickx, lara staal
artistic advice
marie urban
sound advice
david helbich
video
luca mattei
illustration
eva le roi
production manager
leonie persyn
production
infinite endings
co-production
kaaitheater, kunstencentrum BUDA, zeitraumexit. with he support of the flemish authorities and the flemish community commission
thanks to
pianofabriek, mimeopleiding AHK amsterdam
première
september 2017, wunder der prärie, zeitraumexit, mannheim
    workshop at Erg, Brussels, 2019
    workshop at Erg, Brussels, 2019
    workshop at Erg, Brussels, 2019
    workshop at Erg, Brussels, 2019
    workshop at Erg, Brussels, 2019
    workshop at Erg, Brussels, 2019

After creating The Guardians of Sleep as a piece for six professional performers in a classical theatre setting, I have experimented with an altered version for young artists in an open space, avoiding the hierarchical situation of the theatre setting (tribune vs stage) and thus creating new forms of intimacy…

    Rehearsals at Pianofabriek, Brussels. Performer: Alondra Castellanos Arreola

While sleeping, the human body is vulnerable. In times past it was considered the task of the absolute ruler to protect his sleeping subjects against nocturnal dangers. Nowadays there are other forms of social protection. But what happens when these suddenly fall apart?

    The Guardians of Sleep at theaterschool amsterdam, april 2016
    The Guardians of Sleep at theaterschool amsterdam, april 2016
    The Guardians of Sleep at theaterschool amsterdam, april 2016
    "the guardians of sleep" at theaterschool amsterdam, april 2016
    The Guardians of Sleep at theaterschool amsterdam, april 2016
    The Guardians of Sleep at theaterschool amsterdam, april 2016
    The Guardians of Sleep at theaterschool amsterdam, april 2016
    Eva le Roi, affiche for The Guardians of Sleep, 2016
    article published in the print edition of the 3rd of april, 2017 issue, with the headline 'the apathetic'

Uppgivenhetssyndrom, or resignation syndrome, is said to exist only in Sweden, and only among refugees. The patients seem to have lost the will to live. “They are like Snow White,” a doctor said. “They just fall away from the world.”

Georgi, a Russian refugee who came to Sweden with his family when he was five years old, could talk at length about the virtues of the Volvo. His doctor described him as “the most ‘Swedeifed’ in his family…

    light test at Jan Fedinger's studio
    Pietro Antonio Rotari, Sleeping Beauty with her Beau, 1750-55, oil on canvas, Alte Pinakothek, Munich
    The Guardians of Sleep at Martin Gropius Bau, 2016 © Jirka Jansch
    The Guardians of Sleep at Martin Gropius Bau, 2016 © Jirka Jansch
    The Guardians of Sleep at Martin Gropius Bau, 2016 © Jirka Jansch
back to top of context

agenda

schwankhalle, bremen

performance

impulse theater festival, mulheim an der ruhr

performance

kaaitheater, brussels

performance

kunstencentrum buda, kortrijk

performance

zeitraumexit, mannheim

performance

schule der distanz, martin gropius bau, berlin

performance

frascati theater, amsterdam

performance

theaterschool, amsterdam

performance
go to agenda