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Session 5 IRREGULAR SECTION: ‘The Quiet Volume’

From Monday 10 February to Saturday 15 February
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    Hores concertades

The Quiet Volume is a whispered, self-generated, «automatic» show for two people which explores the particular tension common to all libraries worldwide; a combination of silence and concentration where different reading experiences unfold.

Two audience members / participants sit side-by-side. Receiving instructions in the form of both written and whispered words, they find themselves burrowing an unlikely path through a pile of books. The piece exposes the strange magic at the heart of the reading experience, and lets the mechanisms we think of as internal lean out into the surrounding space and filter from one reader’s sphere into another’s.

“This ‘now’ of the page is what grips me – the present moment, this one, summoned here with this arrangement of marks/code, ink/pixels, letters and words.” Tim Etchells

«The Quiet Volume is a short play by Ant Hampton and Tim Etchells that leads the spectator into the world of books. It is theatre of a very magical kind. A theatre of the gradual construction of thoughts while seeing, listening and reading. A theatre that pulls the world in and around, closer to and into the spectator, by making the very ability to read the world its thematic focus point. (…) It is as if it offered a kind of instruction for how to become blind: effectively nothing other than the careful readjustment of sight. Here it works most effectively, because the direction of viewing or thinking suggested to the spectator via headphones and text always works in two directions, both internally and externally, focussing on the material objects just as much as on the chains of thoughts to which they are attached.» Doris Meierhenrich, Berliner Zeitung, 20.09.2010

Ant Hampton (1975) founded Rotozaza in 1998, a project that explores the use of instructions given to «guest performers» without any prior rehearsal, directly on stage and in more intimate structures played by the audience themselves (Autoteatro). From 1999 to 2009 Rotozaza collaborated with Silvia Mercuriali. Since then, Ant Hampton has worked with Glen Neath, Joji Koyama, Isambard Khroustaliov, Tim Etchells, Gert-Jan Stam and Britt Hatzius to create the piece described here. Ant Hampton’s Autoteatro project continues to evolve today, with versions of seven productions in over 35 languages.

Ant Hampton is currently working on other experimental projects. The Other People (La otra gente) is an exploration of «live portraiture» with Greg McLaren. It is based on structured encounters with people from non-theatrical milieu. Hampton was chief dramaturge for “Projected Scenarios” at Manifesta 7 European Biennial for Contemporary Art, Italy. He has also contributed to projects by Jérôme Bel and Forced Entertainment. Prior to collaborating on The Quiet Volume, Ant worked with Tim Etchells on True Riches, a «fantasy-protest» programme of live-art for the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London.

Tim Etchells (1962) is a North American artist and writer based in the UK. He has worked in a wide variety of contexts and is the artistic director of the prestigious performance group Forced Entertainment. His work spans performance, installation, video and text projects, as well as photography and fiction. He is the author of Certain Fragments (Routledge, 1999) and published his first novel, The Broken World (Heinemann) in 2008. He has exhibited widely in venues including the MACBA, Barcelona (2009), the Göteborg Biennial (2009), Art Sheffield (2008), and Manifesta 7 (2008). In 2009-2010 he was Legacy: Thinker in Residence at Tate Research and the Live Art Development Agency in London.

Voices English version Ant Hampton, Seth Etchells, Jenny Naden
Artistic production Katja Timmerberg
Binaural recordings TiTo Toblerone
Commissioned and produced by Ciudades Paralelas, travelling theatre festival organised by Stefan Kaegi and Lola Arias
Production manager Katja Timmerberg

Co-production HAU Berlin, Schauspielhaus Zürich
With the collaboration of the Goethe Institute Warsaw, Teatr Nowy and the Teatr Nowy Foundation
Supported by Kulturstiftung des Bundes, the Swiss cultural foundation Pro Helvetia, Goethe Institute Buenos Aires
Co-production Vooruit Arts Centre, Belgium