THE BERGMAN HORROR SHOW
We were quite disappointed that our idea in Phuket failed to come about. At the same time as this went on we were in the middle of a producing a theatre- and performance work of art. We received an invitation to the Springhill Institute in Birmingham, and this Institute happened to be the same as two very nice young artists, Karin Kihlberg and Reuben Henry, were invited to. We had given them the proposal of The Bergman Horror Show, a piece of art that, dismounted, easily could be carried as luggage on the flight to England. They said Yes, please do this - and with their support and the support from IASPIS it was possible to go ahead. There was a lot to be done. Our thoughts went to the films of Bergman. The voices and dictions of the actors, interviews, music and sounds, all on a small theatrical stage, and operated by us in a 25-minute play in front of a seated audience. Our goal was to express inconceivable gravity. To do this we needed a room in total darkness - if small or large was of no importance, but preferably with a simple lock and a visitor’s guard outside. We didn´t want anybody to enter or leave during the performance. This was the actual idea of the performance. The idea of endurance. Yes indeed, there was a lot to be done. The characters, the stage-design, the set pieces and the back. And the sooner, the better. We met Per Johnsson, who worked in Helsingborg at Atelje Larsen as a printer and computer-system administrator. Only thanks to Per, who offered us his spare time, were we able to computerize all the material, necessary to create our work of art. We finished it just in time for the première in Birmingham - later that summer we also took part in the Performance Festival at Simbiosis in Luarca, Spain.
The Bergman Horror Show is based on what is internationally described as art-film. In a way it already belongs to the artscene. Our performance had the intention of inciting a more naive manner of conduct. We wished to entice the spectator towards illusions built on expressive voices, shining little lamps, set-pieces and pop-upcharacters. Hardly something that had been done before on the contemporary art-scene - which made the enticement even greater.
The artist Vik Muniz has talked about the clumsiness of the model-theatre, its long-winded back-ways and techniques as ”the worst possible illusion”. The art audience actually reacted remarkably different to our performance. For us, oncoming problem was to get our audience to realize when it was over. It all started, and ended, with the sound of ponderous church bells. But the signal turned out not to be enough. The audience stayed put. In silence. We stayed put, behind our construction. It was all very exciting!