Endless medication

PLATEAU (nadine)

7.8.9/05 > 20:30
10/05 > 22:00
Duration: 55’ – Fr

“Men are in the hands of God, animals are in his genitals and plants are the hairs on his legs”.

Opening the floodgates of their organic imagination, two off-the-wall young actresses conjure up like fakirs the Immaculate Conception. Marijs Boulogne trained at the Rits and Manah Depauw at the Conservatoire de Liège. They write about and embody debates on Reality and Fantasy in a particularly spicy way, and on stage they merrily drive in the nails of crude blasphemy and mystical ecstasy. Delirium…

By & With:

Marijs Boulogne, Manah Depauw

Technical production:

Tom De Roy

Communication:

Bart Capelle

Production:

Rits, Buelens Paulina vzw

Supported by:

KunstenFESTIVALdesArts

Presentation:

NADINE, KunstenFESTIVALdesArts

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Mysticism, life-art and another voice

Endless Medication is a story about women in a patriarchal society, told and performed by two young women in tune with their madness, two actors seeking a language and a truth of their own.

In this production Marijs Boulogne and Manah Depauw head off in search of their own voice: a different way of speaking, an angle of artistic effect that goes beyond the eternal debate between the ‘female genre’ and ‘femininity’. They craft an artistic form suited to allowing this suddenly emerging other voice to be heard. A female voice, frequently stifled, an excessive voice. It’s about re-enhancing the status of its specificity and past history. Its artistic echo perhaps? Completely breaking away from the dominant norms. A female art repudiating logic and all the dogma that is advocated on ’so-called’ reality. A voice developed from intellectual and intuitive research, evaluating what is “real and true” according to personal experience, a voice inspired by the chaotic perception of reality, by not knowing.

For Endless Medication, Marijs and Manah have investigated other manifestations of these voices. They have looked into the mysticism and corporeal ecstasy of the Beguines of the Middle Ages and the contemporary practice of female ‘performance art’. Each in their own way, these two manifestations come from attempts to express the unspeakable, to explore and provoke it in order to place the body in an extreme physical situation. “Life-art” or ‘performance’ tries to incorporate the unspeakable, chaos and reality in an ultimate confrontation between the idea and the body, non-movement.

Medieval corporeal mysticism seeks to attain what is ultimately unspeakable – God as absolutely nothing – by self-denial through mortification and asceticism. Denial and mortification are based on a dynamic combining the fantasy of innocence with the temptation of supreme harmony. Accompanied by acts of penitence, it is staged in a fantastical way, undertaken to intercept emotions barely conscious of guilt, uneasiness and indecisiveness.

The story of Endless Medication is inspired by the life of one of these great mystics, Saint Rosa of Lima (1586-1617). Plagued by a painful illness, this nun suddenly became lost in recurrent ecstatic visions. Impervious to the extreme pain, she lived as a penitent, praying and fasting in a cell in the middle of the family garden, continually insulted by all around her.

With Saint Rosa in mind, Marijs and Manah began writing and improvising and the story of Rosa was born, first as a performance artist then as a fakir. Given a Belgian tinge, this story is stained by Catholicism, troubled by erotic infantile-abominable fantasies and perturbed by tunes from a melancholic accordion.

Endless Medication

With the atmosphere of a small old variety hall, Endless Medication tells the story of Rosa, a strange girl with a ‘fantasy of innocence’. No-one, not her mother or grandmother, has ever seen Rosa cry. From childhood Rosa develops strange occupations: she makes crowns of flowers in which she plaits a ribbon of iron with small nails that cut into her. Rosa wants to become a fakir. She picks horrible plastic flowers in cemeteries; at the supermarket she covers herself in washing powder then jumps in the canal; she knits insect blankets and tries to go to sleep under them.

One day she receives a visit from God. He tells her she can come to heaven, but not before she’s given birth to the new messiah who is growing in her large intestine. As a child of God can’t be born in shit, she has to stop eating and can only breathe air using a machine specially sent to her by God.

Every day Rosa inhales the air she’s allowed and to start with everything goes well. But hunger starts to gnaw away at her and she feels she will die if the new Jesus remains in her stomach. She begs God to help her, but he doesn’t hear her. Rosa decides to dislodge the child by giving birth prematurely. Of course things go wrong and Rosa has to call the doctor who tries to convince her that God doesn’t exist and that life is ugly. After visiting the doctor, God speaks to her again, annoyed because she has failed.

She asks him if she can sit on an egg and she receives one at night in a dream. But the episode with the egg goes badly too. Rosa wakes from her dream with a pool of blood between her legs and, for the second time, she has to turn to the doctor for help. He believes she has mutilated herself. After the doctor has sewn her wound, it begins to swell up. It swells until the stitches break and a little leg emerges: the new Jesus is born. He is a messiah made of plastic, therefore immortal, and he never cries. Just like his mother.

The child Jesus begins his oracles, starts promulgating laws. It’s at this point that the doctor intervenes again: Rosa is confined to a psychiatric hospital and the baby Jesus is thrown out the window. Summoned to appear in court, Rosa is condemned to endless medication, temporal prison or eternal deliverance.

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ENDLESS MEDICATION was created at RITS in Brussels. After a first run of performances at the Stokerij (KVS/De Bottelarij), this production has been performed at the Voix Gras theatre festival in the Leuven performing arts centre STUK, at the Theater aan Zee festival in Ostend where it won the Stad Oostende/STUK prize, at the BRONKS festival and at the Porn Around The World festival at the KC nona in Mechelen.

The French-language version has been performed at the Noria festival and at L’An Vert in Liège. It has been re-written and finalised for performances in May at the KunstenFESTIVALdesArts in Brussels.

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