You know you want it! | Gob Squad
dear passers-by of cities and towns across the world,
You always inspired us, filled our imagination, kept us going and moved us forward. From the start, we built our world with you in mind. We always aimed to please you, even when we pretended we didn’t care. We tried to see ourselves from your perspective, and constantly put ourselves in your shoes, to understand where we were heading. It was always you we cared for the most. We liked to tease you with the phrase “You know you want it!”, and over time we realised that assumption was actually true.
Over the years, we did so much with you. Here is a list, so neither of us will forget the depth of our relationship – how far we took it, how we kept challenging each other to push the limits.
First we have to admit, we were pretty scared of you. So we decided to give you freedom: we let you come and go as you pleased and make your own way through our projects. We let you watch and witness us in very private situations. We invited you to phone us and took your requests seri- ously. We sang our hearts out for you and asked what you wanted from us: certainty, sincerity, hope, understanding? We took you to hidden and faraway places and had a secret meeting together under the stars. You watched us from the other side of a railway platform or from the inside of your car through the windscreen.
Nevertheless, we saw you. We felt your presence. Then we let you come closer. We shared a fantasy that the world had ended and we had to build a new one, together with you. We made memories. Sometimes we lost control and you almost took over. We have to admit that this was a chal- lenging time for us. We felt we could vanish and you would still be there, even without us. So we left you for a while and explored the streets, jour- neying to the great outdoors. Out there, we started to talk to you again and asked you for guidance.
Then our relationship got really intense. We shared a whole night with you together in a hotel. We invited you to close encounters to our hotel rooms where we danced with you, had a moment in bed or staged a party with you. You helped us make it through the night. We even held you hostage and tied you to a chair and made you stay with us until the bitter end… Sometimes we wondered if we had taken things a bit too far. But then again – you always had the choice. You knew what you were getting into when you decided to pick up the phone…
After that, it was time for some fresh air again. So we armed ourselves with cameras and turned the city into a film set where you became our co-stars. It was there where we finally had our first embrace – a film kiss with one of you – a complete stranger. It was thrilling, and still is.
Maybe by now we were somehow addicted to you. We searched for you again and again, found you and casted you on a red carpet and paid you good money to star in our soap. You always looked stunning, what- ever you wore. We shot a complete Hollywood-style film with you where you were dressed as apes and stayed completely incognito. That’s why we never found out who was the villain, the heroine or the pole dancer of the various evenings. It was a crazy roller-coaster ride and you went for it and let your hair down. Once we’d seen that, we felt the need to find the monster in you – in all of us – so we took you into a reintegration-programme.
Then it was time for you to completely replace us. We trusted you enough and knew you wouldn’t let us down. We swapped places with you so that you played us and we told our most private stories out of your mouths. You came to bed and tried to sleep for us and then we kissed – for real this time. For three entire minutes! You gave us hope by changing your path and igniting a revolutionary spark for us, each time we asked. You helped us save the world (on videotape) for an unknown future. You held a lecture on our behalf. You joined us on the dance floor. You patiently endured a full night of group therapy and you witnessed ‘our’ children grow up in fast forward before your very eyes. You reenacted the least watched video on the entire internet for us, and you were the heart and the soul of our birthday party. We discussed uncomfortable political topics together, and you ate food we made for you and said it was delicious. You watched us struggle with our midlife crisis, you saw us naked (several times) and noticed our bodies changing over the years. You stayed with us – through times of crisis, and more than 25 years…
We tried the impossible with you. You never disappointed us, in fact: you always exceeded our expectations. You helped us lose our fear of strangers, our fear of closeness and intimacy. Thank you for that.
Why theatre? – Just because of you.
Gob Squad is a UK and German artists collective. In their performances they search for the beauty in the everyday. They place their works not only in theatres, but also in the middle of the urban environment – e.g. in houses, shops or parking lots. Utopian scenarios meet the reality of a concrete situation with an uncertain outcome. Their work has been touring to all continents.