Come Together #5

The fifth edition of the annual Come Together event was held over the weekend of 5 -7 March at Frascati Theatre. Once a year, for three evenings, a multitude of artists are given the opportunity to show an excerpt, a full piece, an idea or a dream. Come Together is something between an experimental festival, a performative workshop, an artsy showcase and a gathering between extended family.

The proposal is simple: come and try out, in a theatre context. Resources are limited but the generosity of the event is not. As many artists as possible are selected and given a small budget and a few days in the theatre to set up. The makers’ practices somehow engage with performance and its various forms. The formats don’t matter – substance is everything.

Works in the making, the beginning of ideas, revisited pieces…the format of this assembly allows thoughts to become pieces, even if only for one night.

The curatorial team changes every year and is composed of several people, allowing many gazes to unite and allow the floor to diverse artistic urgencies. This “performed manifesto”, as they themselves call it, not only serves as a supportive platform for the local scene but also as a form of political engagement. This year the organizers encouraged audiences to sign the petition Nederland Maakt Kunst / Kunst Maakt Nederland, asking minister Van Engelshoven for more investment in the arts, be it professional, amateur or educational, as well as for fair pay in the sector.

This event that is all about thinking-through-making, is an incubator, a laboratory of creative bodies. Humans and plants become co-creators in Empathy Ecologies by Lancel/Maat. Audio and visual data are generated through biofeedback from an empathy-based symbiosis between plants and humans.

The dynamic organization of the evenings enables audiences to be an active part of the works. Be it by having to literally participate in what is happening, or just by having to constantly choose where to go, which experiment to see. You have to commit to the space. Perhaps follow the enigmatic humanized object (or objectified human) around the in-between spaces of the theatre. Rebecca Collins subtly tests our boundaries with The Promise and Potentiality of the Object.

The works spill over from the stage space: durational experiences happen in the corridor, at the reception desk. It is a holistic experience. We are submerged in a theatrical playground where the performances even happen amongst the audience members. Conversations are triggered, ideas manifest in a thousand forms: immersive installations, participatory moments, dialogues, interviews, palm readings, waltz classes, collective drawings, lectures or good old fashioned dance. In Rehearsal for a rEvolution, an enquiry into the Noord-Holland floods, Leila Gray makes us leap ahead in time, to thirty years from now, questioning us about our concerns on climate change.

In the overflowing program, there are several topics that keep recurring: ecology, community, the future. 35 Artists have gathered to reflect, each in their individual way yet together, re-imagining the end of the world through making new ones.

Since 2014 this exciting initiative has been mapping out the creative and active minds of the city of Amsterdam. The much-needed act of Coming Together plays a crucial role in today’s socio-political reality. Fighting for better conditions happens not only on the discourse level, but also (and perhaps mainly) through actual doing.


Artistic direction: Eva Villanueva, Nicole Beutler, Keren Levi |curators: João Dinis Pinho, Floor van Leeuwen, Fernando Belfiore, Elke Decoker, Ira Brand and Isadora Tomasi.

Line-up COME TOGETHER #5: Anna Fries, Antonia Steffens, Antrianna Moutoula, Áron Birtalan, Branka Zgonjanin, Clara Saito, DAY collective, Emilie Gallier, How to draw a Pony, Igor Dobričić, Janneke Raaphorst, João Dinis Pinho & Claire Hermans, Katinka Marac, Klára Alexová, Lancel/Maat, Leila Gray – Cloud Cuckoo Land Productions, Lily Kiara, LIPS&KNOBEL, Mami Kang & Juan Pablo Cámara, Masha Zhukova and Liza Zhukova, MC Mustaj, Milou van Duijnhoven, Monica Mays with David Ko, Nahuel Cano,
Nikita Maheshwary, Nina Boas &Arlette van Laar, Noah Voelker, Paula Montecinos Oliva, Pedro Manuel,
Piotr Urbaniec, Rebecca Collins, Richard John Jones, Sara Daniel, When we were stars (Weitz /Murugarren), Susanna Brenner, Tea Teearu, Terra Kota, Vera & Fransien.