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In Good Hands, the performance artist Eva Meyer-Keller invites audiences to join her around a table. It is an intimate table which soon degenerates into mischievousness and other frivolities when our host from Berlin slowly indulges in a minute miracle of creation and destruction. An artist and artisan, Meyer-Keller is putting the finishing touches to an ephemeral bit of DIY while making us complicit in a fleeting moment of bedazzlement...
Eva Meyer-Keller, Sean Reynard, Rico Repotente
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Festival a/d Werf (Utrecht), KunstenFESTIVALdesArts
Stuk (Leuven), Juan Dominguez, Irina Müller, Daniel Belasco Rogers, Litò Walkey and to all those who gave feedback.
Beursschouwburg, KunstenFESTIVALdesArtsBack to top
Everybody knows those boyish pranks, played by generations of children: just like we did, they think they are the first ones ever to ring the bells and run away, shoot their opponents in the neck with a blowing pipe - rapidly, precisely and without being noticed -, or fill up a Matchbox car with firecrackers, light the fuse and let the car drive downhill until it explodes.
Next, there are the pub tricks. Although you know by now you're not the first one anymore (at best, you're the most original creature of the party), the procedure remains the same: an unexpected, maybe even forbidden event, causes a short moment of excitement, even though it's easy to explain. Like putting a glass upside down on top of another one, with an identity card in between. The first glass is filled with wine, the other one with water. Then, you take the identity card away until there's a small gap and watch how the wine slowly flows upwards.
And then you do the other way round: you make a table-mat for hot pots out of clothes-pegs and give it away as a gift; you fold a paper boat that really floats; in your own kitchen, you bake cookies and eat them warm, right from the baking sheet, or you make something with the dough, bake it and eat it.
After that, there's the D.I.Y.-shop and the pottery course.
Everybody knows it. Everybody has done it. Everybody has enjoyed it.
But who knows how those things work? Why is it so exciting to blow up a toy car? What is so fascinating about wine flowing upwards? And why does so little happen after the mischief or the trick, unlike activities like baking and handicraft, which generously send their results into the world: oven cloths and glass coasters, toy boats, cookies and pastry. And yet here again the same questions arise: what is so exciting about taking clothes-pegs apart and sticking them together as a table-mat? How come some cookies taste good and others don't? What is so wonderful about giving those objects away?
There may be as many answers to our questions as there are people who do all that. But one thing is clear: things are mixed and in their reactions you can sense tension and pleasure.
The same thing happens in 'good hands': boyish pranks and tricks meet craftwork and baking. The exact result is hard to define. You could call it achievement-oriented craftwork - maybe of mischiefs, maybe of explosions, maybe also of cookies and cooking pots. In any case, the necessary preparations will be made for tricks and boyish pranks and also for the slowly built tension. Then, there will be a few moments of astonishment, then some more and maybe in the end everybody becomes accessory and participates in the craftwork. Maybe, just maybe.
Eva Meyer KellerBack to top