Van Reipen Collective
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Presented at DTW/Movement Research (NYC) in April 2009

Directed by Ash Bulayev
Performed by Cassandra Weston
Lighting Design by Christopher Weston
Sound Design by Joel Hamburger

INTERVIEWER: I'm speaking from the picturesque Neander valley, near Düsseldorf in Germany. Around me lies a contorted landscape of calcareous rocks and man-made quarries. It was during work on these stone quarries that in 1856 one of the oldest inhabitants of this valley was found, someone who settled here about thirty-five thousand years ago. Neanderthal Man: Mr Neander is somewhat different by nature, bad-tempered even, and he doesn't seem particularly impressed by the international fame he enjoys. Nevertheless he has politely agreed to answer a few questions, for our program; So, Mr Neander, did you expect to become so famous? I mean: as far as we know, you never did anything remarkable in your life: then all of a sudden you found you were a very important person. How do explain this?

NEANDER: That's what you say. Were you there? Me yes, I was there. You no.

INTERVIEWER: Agreed, you were there. Well, do you feel that is sufficient?

NEANDER: Sufficient! I was already there!


Do you know how to make nicks in stones, you, nicks all the same, do you know how to make the nicks monotonous? No, so what are you talking about? I know how to do it all right! And ever since I started, ever since I saw I've got the thumb for it, you see this thumb? this thumb that I put here and the other fingers I put there and in the middle there's a stone, in my hand, gripped right so it can't slip out, ever since I saw that I was holding the stone in my hand and hitting it, like this, or like that, well since then what I can do with the stones I can do with everything, with the sounds that come out of my mouth, I can make sounds like this, a a a, p p p, ny ny ny, and so I never stop making sounds, I start speaking, I never stop speaking, I start speaking about speaking, I start working stones I can use for working stones, and meantime it occurs to me to think, I think of all the things I could think when I think, and it occurs to me I'd like to do something to have others understand things, paint some red stripes on my face for example, no reason in particular, just to let the others, know I've put some red stripes on my face, and I don't know what you think you have that I didn't have, I had everything I wanted, everything that was done afterwards, I'd already done, everything that was said and thought and meant was already there in what I said and thought and meant, all the complication of complication was already there, I only have to pick up this stone with my thumb and the hollow of my hand and the other four fingers that fold over it, and everything is already there, I had everything that others had later, everything others knew and could do later I already had not because it was mine but because it was, because it was already, because it was there, whereas later others had it and knew it and could do it less and less, always a bit less than what might have been, than what there was before, what I had before, what I was before, I really was there then in everything and for everything, not like you, and everything was in everything and for everything, everything you need to be in everything and for everything, even everything wrong that came later was already there in that clank! clank! clink! clink! so what are you trying to say, what do you think you are, what do you mean thinking you're here when you are not, or if you are it's only because I really was and the bear was and the stones and the necklaces and the hammering on the fingers and everything you need to be and that when it's there is there.

THE IMPOSSIBLE INTERVIEWS.  Photo by Nancy Stamatopoulou

Bubbles THE IMPOSSIBLE INTERVIEWS.  Photo by Nancy Stamatopoulou

Bubbles THE IMPOSSIBLE INTERVIEWS.  Photo by Nancy Stamatopoulou