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shoe/farm – prelude


In glass slippers and sturdy bottoms, buren (Oshin Albrecht and Melissa Mabesoone) saunter across the playing field, as if on a catwalk. They hoist themselves in ropes, ripped and turned inside-out jeans and delicate lace curtains. On the farm, their worn-out work trousers are a sign of hard labour. In the city, they are a fashion statement.

As in SPARE TIME WORK (2021), in which they first addressed the theme, in this performance the duo starts from their personal experiences. They explore the relationships between customers and sellers, producers and products on a farm in Zeeuws-Vlaanderen, a shoe shop along the Belgian coast and in their own art practice. 

Neither performer intends to take over the family business, but they do engage with the legacy of their ancestors: what mentalities and behaviours have they consciously or unconsciously absorbed? They search for what connects the three worlds: the shoe shop, the farm and the artistry.

• The name buren derives from a term found in Heidegger’s ‘Building, Dwelling, Thinking’ in which ‘büren’ coincides with ‘building’ and ‘inhabiting’. For its founders Melissa Mabesoone and Oshin Albrecht it functions as a noun and as a verb; as an umbrella term for their practice and as a modus operandi. 

Through performance, video, text, objects, photography and installation they navigate ideas of community, domesticity, gender, (art) history and neoliberal fantasies. These subjects are approached with a sense of irony and humour as well as a future-oriented imagination. buren are artist-in-residence at Kaaitheater since 2003. They have already performed Blue Skies Forever (2020), To give voice to (2020) and SPARE TIME WORK (2021).

concept by buren (Oshin Albrecht & Melissa Mabesoone) | created with Oshin Albrecht, Melissa Mabesoone, Vera Martins, Benjamin Cools, Famke Dhont, Margaux Janssens | produced by au bureau | co-production Kaaitheater, Kunstencentrum BUDA, workspacebrussels, C-takt, KAAP, de Brakke Grond, Theaterfestival Boulevard, STUK, apap - FEMINIST FUTURES, a project co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union. 

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