Juggling day-to-day banalities and universal, existential questions
Fascinated by the concepts that should initially define a house or a home, Vermoortele considers them a metaphor for human beings. From the outside, one cannot detect all the things happening behind those lacy curtains, as cleverly suggested in her images.
© Jietske Vermoortele
They unveil and withhold us information at the same time. While miles away from the popular proverb ‘Home is where the heart is’, she prefers to associate material and immaterial meanings with its rather unclear definition. A home can refer to a body as something that never fully gives away its secrets at a single glance. A home can indicate the roots from which we set our compass and where one never stops searching for a certain balance.
That notion of meanings as a fluid instead of fixed matter is represented in the play’s entirety: from Léonard’s lacy textile objects, through projections of the anterior windows, to a more sensory approach in the texts that e.g. plays with ideas of familiarity. Fancy a piece of apple pie? In rhyming banality with the big universal questions in life, Houd me huis allows a more intuitive process and consequently triggers interaction with the public in a world where imagination, not a preconceived concept, prevails.
© Leontien Allemeersch
Besides Swaenepoel’s role as the play’s coach (wordplay intended), Vermoortele calls in the knowledge of Bas Schulte and Anouk Léonard, with Schulte responsible for sound and film and Léonard involved in textile and décor design.
Vermoortele and Swaenepoel share an interest in the homo ludens, the playful human being in a play, and wish to reinvigorate it in a multi-layered show flirting with theatre, performance and installation.
The many layers can be translated literally and figuratively: Houd me huis is not a one-woman-show expressing one well-defined message, but a multidisciplinary collaboration between four artists offering us a variety of meanings and lines of questioning.