KVS
© Marsel Van Oosten

Gilgamesh

Mesut Arslan / Platform 0090 & KVS
Tue 08.03.2022 - Sat 12.03.2022
08.03.2022
-
12.03.2022
  • 08.03.2022
    20:30 - 21:50
    TRY OUT
    KVS, Brussels
    KVS BOX
    Past event
  • 09.03.2022
    20:30 - 21:50
    KVS, Brussels
    KVS BOX
    Past event
  • 10.03.2022
    20:30 - 21:50
    KVS, Brussels
    KVS BOX
    Past event
  • 11.03.2022
    20:30 - 21:50
    KVS, Brussels
    KVS BOX
    Past event
  • 12.03.2022
    20:30 - 21:50
    KVS, Brussels
    KVS BOX
    Past event

For his latest creation, director Mesut Arslan set to work with the masterful Gilgamesh epic. Not as a tale of immortality, as it has been told for thousands of years, but as an epic about learning to die. 

'The intention of Homo Sapiens 12,000 years ago was to domesticate grain, but grain ultimately domesticated Homo Sapiens.'

- Yuval Noah Harari

In this collection of heroic stories, Gilgamesh, the fifth king of Uruk, who is often accompanied by his friend Enkidu, experiences mythological adventures. He goes in search of eternal life or fights battles with supernatural creatures sent to Uruk by the gods. But he also faces existential questions concerning, among other things, his awareness of mortality. 

Uruk, part of southern Mesopotamia at the time and known today as Warak in Iraq, is one of the oldest known urban cultures. The fertile soil around the Euphrates River provided the opportunity to grow wheat and to evolve from a nomadic to a sedentary existence. From ‘being’ to ‘having’. Because wheat meant possession and borders. In hunter-gatherer times, wild nature was free for all. But sowing and harvesting meant taming nature, drawing up and defending borders: existence became territorial. What is mine is not yours. Wheat fields became possessions and exacerbated the oppositions of ‘us’ versus ‘them’. Wars are often not about land, but about energy and resources.

But who tames who when we look at the bigger picture? Do humans tame nature, or does nature ultimately tame humanity? Gilgamesh goes to great lengths to become immortal, to master death and nature. We humans, with our so-called civilisation and all our cultural heritage, also want to be masters of time and space. But does that make us happy? Has the pandemic not shown us that we need to put our egos into perspective? That nature outside, and the beast within us, are more powerful than ever? We could learn to accept the harmony that proliferates in the wild, surf along on nomadic waves and ‘be’, rather than trying to grasp and conquer. 

If we make peace with death, life suddenly becomes so much more valuable.
The Gilgamesh epic is one of the oldest examples of literature in human history. The stories were passed down orally for centuries and later frequently written down in cuneiform script. The definitive version is thought to date from the twelfth century BC, but older fragments date back to the third millennium BC. 
Together with Mesut Alp, archaeologist and expert on Mesopotamia, Mesut Arslan rewrites the epic and excavates a number of contemporary core themes from it. Arslan and Alp treat the encounter between Enkidu and Gilgamesh as one that pits nature against civilisation, Homo Sapiens against Neanderthals, and time against space. 

Like in his last creations, Arslan chooses to work with an empty space in which performers and audience co-exist together. In the vacuum of KVS BOX, Gilgamesh is brought to life night after night.

Extra

  • It is a performance with a standing public. (We will of course provide some chairs for people with reduced mobility).
  • Everyone is requested to put their coats and bags in the lockers. That way, we can make optimal use of the space.
  • Actors will smoke on stage during this performance.

Credits

TEKST & CONCEPT / TEXTE & CONCEPT / TEXT & CONCEPT Mesut Alp & Mesut Arslan REGIE / MISE EN SCÈNE / DIRECTOR Mesut Arslan DRAMATURGIE / DRAMATURGY Ata Ünal SPEL / JEU / PLAY Daphne Agten, Layla Önlen SCENOGRAFIE / SCÉNOGRAPHIE / SCENOGRAPHY Stan Wannet ARTISTIEK ADVIES / CONSEIL ARTISTIQUE / ARTISTIC ADVICE Charlotte Bouckaert, Hüseyin Umaysiz KOSTUUMS CONCERT & DESIGN/ COSTUMES CONCEPT & DESIGN Elif Korkmaz, Kultuurfabriek 'Art of Beauty' VERTALING TEKST / TRADUCTION TEXTE / TRANSLATION TEXT Öznur Cesur REDACTEUR / ÉDITEUR DE TEXTE / TEXT EDITOR Jeff De Maeyer VERTALING TEKST IN HET ARABISCH/ TRADUCTION TEXTE EN ARABE / TRANSLATION TEXT ARABIC Hussein Al Khalidi EXTERNE BLIK / REGARD EXTÉRIEUR / OUTSIDE EYES Işil Derya Biçakçi RESEARCH Zeynep Avci PRODUCTIELEIDING / DIRECTEUR DE PRODUCTION / PRODUCTION MANAGER Robin Appels, Valerie De Visscher PRODUCTIE / PRODUCTION KVS, Platform 0090 COPRODUCTIE / COPRODUCTION c-Takt, Het Laatste Bedrijf MET DANK AAN / REMERCIEMENTS À / THANKS TO Dommelhof/Neerpelt MET DE STEUN VAN / AVEC LE SOUTIEN DE / WITH THE SUPPORT OF The Flemish Community, Tax Shelter Measure Of The Belgian Federal Government, & Gallop Tax Shelter

Check out our themes