223m is a repetitive walk through the city, which begins in a neutral, white space; a station from where the audience members step in and out of the performance as they please. A white dot is placed on the collar of each participant’s jacket. This little dot provides access to the experience. During the walk, visitors are asked to focus on the white spot on the person in front of them. You can opt to stay an interim round of 223m in the white space, or walk along lasting up to a maximum of four continuous hours as part of a changing line of visitors and makers, connected by concentration.
“223m was developed for the festival Beyond the Black Box and is the outcome of a collaboration between transdisciplinary makers Johannes Bellinkx, Nick Steur, Breg Horemans, Benjamin Vandewalle and me. All five of us are individually affiliated to production platform SoAP (Space oriented Artistic Practice) and have closely followed each other’s practices. 223m is our first collaborative work.”
You concentrate on that dot in front of you. You focus. Don’t let your focus stray. Outside, it’s still light. The dot becomes light, or even air. The sky is almost white, the dot becomes sky, a line joins up the dots of air. But no, the dots—now empty inside—don’t just form a line, they’re connected to everything around you, to all the negative space, and this is how air flows through the line of people.
The back of the man’s head in front of you now seems more familiar than that of a good friend. Now, you are one with those in front of, and behind you, the air connects you to the others as if you are vacuum packed together. Pure concentration. That is the astonishing effect of the work 223m.
Josje Kerkhoven in Rekto:Verso | 26 Feb 2019
It’s an excellent example of how a simple but carefully conceived action can have enormous impact on everyone who perseveres with their engagement as a spectator.
Fransien van der Putt in Theaterkrant | 9 Feb 2019
Johannes Bellinkx, Breg Horemans, Nick Steur, Benjamin Vandewalle, SoAP Maastricht, De Brakke Grond
2019 7 – 9 Feb Beyond the Black Box, de Brakke Grond, Amsterdam (NL)
2020 5 Feb Beyond the Black Box, de Brakke Grond, Amsterdam (NL)