Bartlebabe explores a world that is subject to advanced forms of digitalization, and the rationalization of our existence that it brings about. How does the omnipresent digital sphere influence our subjectivity, our ways of thinking, feeling, loving and expressing ourselves? Bartlebabe is an embodiment of the digital that tries to be human and the human that attempts to be digital. She’s some sort of twenty-twenties version of Bartleby the Scrivener (Herman Melville, 1853) although she’s not necessarily aware of this herself. She relies on an excessive use of templates to express herself, which becomes somewhat of a present-day “I would prefer not to”: she constantly flirts with a language that is overly generic and thereby obstructs communication and questions what is expected from it, rather than enhancing it.
For Batard 2021, Bartlebabe produces a text in which she addresses humanity’s collective daydream from the perspective of a paraglitching sociopath. Bartlebabe erases the distinction between what is interesting and what is not, between work and not work, between advertisement and embodiment, connection and disconnection, presence and absence.
Anna Franziska Jäger (1996) completed the master’s program in Drama at the School of Arts|KASK Ghent in 2020. Bartlebabe is the third piece in an ongoing collaboration with Nathan Ooms, after As a matter of fiction (2018) and Some Things Last A Long Time (2019). She collaborated with and performed for Michiel Vandevelde in Love Songs (Veldeke)(2013) and Human Landscapes – Book I (2018), Toverberg (2019) by de Snor and Gekken & Specialisten (2020) by tibaldus. In 2009 she made her debut in film in My Queen Karo (2009) by Dorothée Van Den Berghe and played in other films such as Cleo (2019) by Eva Cools and Braided Love (2018) by Rand Abou Fakher. Since 2019, she is part of Ne mosquito pas, a platform for performance artists who gather to exploit their bad ideas.
Nathan Ooms (1996) graduated from the master program Drama at KASK School of Arts Ghent and is currently enrolled in the master program STUDIOS at P.A.R.T.S. in Brussels. He is in an ongoing collaboration with Anna Franziska Jäger, Bartlebabe (2021) being their most recent creation. During his studies he did an internship with Ula Sickle for the creation of Relay (2018) and worked as a performer with Marc Vanrunxt (Drawings, 2019) and others. He’s also part of Ne Mosquito Pas, a platform for performance artists who gather to exploit their bad ideas.
Creation and performance Anna Franziska Jäger & Nathan Ooms
Mentored by Bryana Fritz & Frederik Le Roy
Dramaturgical advice by Simon Baetens and Carly Rae Heathcote
Costumes by Carly Rae Heathcote
Graphic design letter by Leroy Meyer
Production by KASK Drama and CAMPO
Residences at CAMPO, Kunstenwerkplaats Pianofabriek, Vooruit, De School Van Gaasbeek, kunstencentrum BUDA, Art Basics for Children
Thanks to Fabrice Delecluse, Bardia Mohammad, Lander Gyselinck