In Het Principe van het Verdwijnen (The Principle of Disappearing) theatre-maker Anna Verkouteren Jansen gives form to the space between being and not being, light and dark, through the work of Haruki Murakami and Marguerite Duras. In a filmic, hallucinogenic trip, she makes a parallel world visible. Here, in this space, the loneliness of man takes on cosmic proportions, and the memory of what happened is the only thing left over.
'A question. What should a person do to avoid reality, without seriously thinking about it? In theory it’s simple. It’s dreaming. Keep dreaming. Step into the world of the dream and never leave again. That’s where eternal life is. Reality bites.' Haruki Murakami – Sputnik Sweetheart
concept & direction Anna Verkouteren Jansen performance Laura de Geest, Scott Robin Jun, Willemien Slot design Nelli Bodt wardrobe Hanne Pierrot lighting design Attila Nemeth sound Jelle Hoekstra publicity campaign Len Rooth With special thanks to Eva Maria de Wit & Jip Vuik
Anna Verkouteren Jansen (the Netherlands, 1992) makes filmic, darkly comic theatre about loneliness and human incapacity. Her productions are populated by characters who seem to have become caricatures of themselves, wandering aimlessly around an absurd universe. She observes these underdogs with a loving eye, recording how the body expresses what language cannot.
Verkouteren Jansen graduated in Directing from the Toneelacademie Maastricht institute of performative arts in the summer of 2017 with the film adaptation The Lobster (Yorgos Lanthimos). The previous year her production Stallerhof (Franz Xaver Kroetz) played in Frascati, dealing with an impossible romantic entanglement between a teenage girl with learning difficulties and a stable boy four times her age. In both productions, helpless souls seek comfort in a stylised way, while primitive urges and emotions churn away below layers of thick skin.
In 2018, she created Plankton, together with Hendrik Kegels, for Frascati Producties. In this slo-mo ballad of sadness and seclusion, she presented a series of individuals taking up arms, like modern Don Quichotes against the emptiness of existence. Because man has the capacity to create worlds on top of reality. And because the heart continues to long and the soul to stir below a grey layer of fat and stifled expectations. Inspiration came among other things from the films of Miranda July, dark graphic novels, science fiction and nature documentaries.
In the same year, together with young actress Jente Jonkhoff, Verkouteren Jansen made a presentation for Frascati Issues #Rebel. The starting point for this was formed by the famous photo series Beach Portraits by Rineke Dijkstra, in which she portrayed dozens of adolescents in classic poses on the beach. Jonkhoff got under the teens’ skins in the moment just before she took the photo, so managing to bring their awkwardness and existential uncertainties, so subtly visible on the photo, to life.
In January 2019 she will present her latest production with Frascati Producties: Het Principe van Verdwijnen which will premiere on Saturday January 12.