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Escaping the Representation: Lieutenantenduetten, a critical performance by the Warme Winkel

Sortir de la Représentation: Lieutenantenduetten , une performance critique du Warme Winkel

Esther Gouarné About the author


This performance questions the logics of representation and mimesis, blurs the borders between life and fiction, and mixes codes inherited from the theater, performance-art, and happening. It plays with art history to address the difficulty of art to create images in a globalized world, and more specifically, in the context of the current European economic crisis, which directly threatens the art scene in Holland.

Dutch Collective; Site-specific; Performative Acting; Distance; Representation


L'exemple évoqué dans article remet en question les logiques de la représentation et de la mimesis, brouille les frontières entre la vie et la fiction en mêlant les codes du théâtre, de l'art de la performance et du happening. La performance de Warme Winkel joue avec l'histoire de l'art pour réfléchir sur la difficulté de créer de l'art et des images dans le contexte de la crise économique qui atteint actuellement l'Europe et qui menace directement la scène artistique néerlandaise.

Collectif Néerlandais; Site Spécifique; Jeu Performatique; Distance; Représentation


Esta performance questiona as lógicas de representação e mimeses, faz divergir as fronteiras entre a vida e a ficção, misturando os códigos do teatro, da arte da performance e do happening. A performance do Warme Winkel joga com a história da arte para refletir sobre a dificuldade da arte em criar imagens em um mundo globalizado e, mais particularmente, no contexto da crise econômica atual da Europa, o que ameaça diretamente a cena artística holandesa.

Grupos Holandeses; Site-specific; Atuação Performática; Distância; Representação

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  • 1
    This article results from a communication during the 2013 conference of the International Federation for Theater Research (IFTR), in the working group Processus Créatifs, directed by Josette Féral and Sophie Proust.
  • 2
    Theatregroup De Warme Winkel (The Hot Shop) is an actors' collective comprising Mara van Vlijmen, Jeroen De Man, Vincent Rietveld, and Ward Weemhoff, with Jantien Ploij as business manager. It was created in 2002 after the first three members graduated from Maastricht Academy of Drama. Weemhoff joined the group in 2010 after graduating from Antwerp Conservatorium. They specialized in site-specific and historical creations, especially in the Austrian Cycle, a series of five devised plays created between 2004 and 2009 around major artists and writers taken from the Vienese fin-de-siècle. Available at: <>.
  • 3
    The Dutch vlakke vloer designates a theatrical family that comprises small and medium-sized groups, with a fixed artistic and administrative core, recognized in the cultural sector, and specialized in the small theater venues or the alternative and site-specific locations. They are working in-between the big institutions and the amateurs. This trend has been developed since the 1970s, and is also linked to the expansion of actors' and artists' collectives. Maatschapij Discordia, created by Jan Joris Lamers and Mathias de Koning, is one of the most important pioneer of this trend still in activity today, and was the initiator of a new way of devised theater-making in the 1980s, where the actor is considered a direct intermediate between the text and the spectators.
  • 4
    Such as Felix Meritis, Frascati, and de Brakke Grond in Amsterdam, Toneelschuur in Arnhem, Kikker in Utrecht, that played an important role in the producing and programming of young groups.
  • 5
    The Mickery was created in 1965 by Ritsaert ten Cate in an old farm in Lonersloot. It quickly acquired an international reputation and introduced a lot of American experimental groups in Europe during its annual festival - for instance La MaMa, Living Theater, Bread and Puppet, Wooster Group, and a host of others. It is subsidized since 1969 and relocated to the center of Amsterdam in 1972, contributing to the development of new forms of devised and site-specific theater, working on the blurring of borders between genres, styles, disciplines, and cultures.
  • 6
    See, for example, the work of Gerardjan Rijnders, actor, writer, and director who developed his montage techniques while directing the Toneelgroep Amsterdam, and acquired thereby a national and international reputation.
  • 7
    Jongewaard is the director of Nieuw West, founded in 1980 with writer Rob de Graaf and actor Dik Boutkan after graduating from the mime department in Amsterdam. It is a collective with punk and anarchist influences that invented a very performative, provocative, and politically engaged theater: <>.
  • 8
    In September 2010 a budget cut of 25% is announced in the cultural sector, promoted by the center-right coalition. As a result, in the FPK. distribution of 2012, more than half of the required subventions were turned down and numerous groups, festivals and venues had to close, stop or reduce their activities - among which Discordia, 't Barre Land, O.T., who were important pioneers in the 1980s.
  • 9
    Literally to be understood as a final or end-director, the eind-regisseur is a common figure in a lot of collective and devised work in Belgium and Holland, since the 1970s. His/her exact function and degree of implication varies from one project to another. He/she can be a member of the group or a guest invited by the performers.
  • 10
    For a synthetic approach on this subject, see Goldberg (2001).
  • 11
    He was still working with the Performance Group he had created in 1967 with Liz Le Compte, which was a place of major experimentations in that field.
  • 12
    Among which Oerol, Over Het Ij, Caravane, in Holland, and Theater aan Zee in Belgium are the biggest.
  • 13
    She uses this word to tackle the flow of saturated filmic, photographic, and digital pictures that tend to erase the gaps that lack in our relation to the visible by pretending to seize it and account it fully.
  • 14
    Austin's theory on performativity consists in recognizing the active power of uttered words, able to transform reality as they are being pronounced. I here use the idea of performativity to express the impact the artistic speech or action can actually have on the non-artistic reality around it.
  • 15
    Term used such as defined and situated on Michael Kirby's acting-scale.

Publication Dates

  • Publication in this collection
    Apr 2014


  • Received
    09 Aug 2013
  • Accepted
    13 Oct 2013
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