Because we simply need to hang on tight. Artistic identity is becoming a creative accessory of the system. More and more we are becoming creative deputies, rather than artistic personalities. Triggered by the maintenance of a system called society, we risk getting alienated from ourselves as human beings, but also from ourselves as artists.
I believe it is important to not underestimate the representation of human content in theatre. This comprises values that are ancient and universal. Values that are far from original, sometimes even cliché, but ubiquitous and always applicable. Thematically, theatre can only repeat itself. The quality of an artist is to respond with his or her own life and insight – rational and emotional – to this complex matter. Theatre is maybe the last place where you can take part in an existential celebration of humankind. This wonderful party between life and death. The denial and the acceptance of the paradox on the same evening.
Artists don’t have the responsibility to co-design the future. Or at least they should not feel obliged to do so. It bothers me that well-intentioned opinion formers influence the artist’s discourse. It seems as if artists are supposed to consolidate the changes in society. But I ask myself how one can reflect on society if one has to accomplish it as well? I fear theatre that is hijacked by too much morality, with contours that are drawn by rules and guidelines, whether they are imposed by society or come from within the cultural circle.
I don’t want to imagine theatre buildings turning into intellectual shopping malls, battlefields for rational revolutionary happenings or venues for entertaining educational projects. Nothing against all this of course. One does not exist without the other. And I am sure that, in the eyes of some, even my work can be perceived in this respect as well. But I also see there is a lack of imagination, for instance in the choices we make. Too many see performance as an instrument of the model. A model that is trying to set up an artwork for its own policy and creativity. I think it is impossible to carry theatrical identity through a collective policy.
Being established and accepted is great, but not when it directs the content in this or that direction. It makes artists dependent and compliant, and compromises their work.