FAST FORWARD 2 PRESENTS: AART STROOTMAN, ALEXANDRA BROEDER, GERY MENDES AND JÖRGEN TJON A FONG


4 september 2020

Thanks to the Fast Forward programme of the Performing Arts Fund NL, Aart Strootman, Alexandra Broeder, Gery Mendes and Jörgen Tjon a Fong can pursue a further step in their artistic development.
The programme first launched in 2014 and offers talented mid-career artists the opportunity to pursue a personal artistic development project in an international context. Whereas the emphasis in the first edition was on producing a result, Fast Forward 2 offers the option of pursuing a multi-year project that centres on research, artistic development and network building.


Working with a group of scouts, intendant Viktorien van Hulst selected the following makers for Fast Forward 2: Het Geluid Maastricht, Sevdaliza, Stephen Shropshire, Ensemble Klang, Jorinde Keesmaat, Pia Meuthen and Lisa Verbelen.

Four makers have now been added to this list, and a further selection for the programme will take place toward the end of 2020.

The four new participants in Fast Forward 2 are:
Photo: Dries Alkemade
Photo: Dries Alkemade

Aart Strootman (Rotterdam)

Aart Strootman (winner of the Matthijs Vermeulenprijs 2019) pursues a practice of performing music, building instruments and composing – in random order. In his work he obliterates the distinction between the role of the composer and the performer; everything he does revolves around sound research and innovation. Through the Fast Forward programme, he aims to develop and intensify this practice with international partners, and also to share this practice internationally.
“Together with the Ictus Ensemble and a worldwide network of partners, I will use the Fast Forward programme to explore new instruments in the digital workplace. Working closely with musicians, I design and custom-build instruments for new compositions and digitise these as a vector drawing. Partner ensembles in Perth, Montréal, New York and London will then build and test the prototypes. This adds much flexibility to the instrument as the inevitable link between composer and performer, with previously unheard music as a result.
Photo: Kamerich & Budwilowitz
Photo: Kamerich & Budwilowitz

Alexandra Broeder (Amsterdam)

Alexandra Broeder’s Fast Forward plans issue naturally from the specific and wayward character of her current work, which plays out at the intersection of theatre and psychiatry. The programme will help her to consolidate her own practice and to expand her network within the field internationally, with a view to future ambitions. The focus is on investigating the method and practice and on connecting with the network of partners in Ghent and Manchester: respectively, Villa Voortman in collaboration with Museum Guislain, and the SICK! Festival. In the Netherlands Alexandra works with Theater Frascati and De Bascule, centre for children and youth psychiatry.
“In four years from now, I wish to be the artistic director of my own platform where we work with children and young people with a mental vulnerability, as a home where the artistic practice comes first. I have selected and contacted my partners for the Fast Forward programme based on this ambition. These partners hold a unique position in working with people with a mental (or physical) vulnerability, with artistic practice as the primary focus.”
Photo: Mounir Raj
Photo: Mounir Raj

Gery Mendes (Rotterdam)

Gery Mendes is vocalist, producer and actor. After winning the title of Best Musician during the finals of the Grote Prijs van Nederland competition, Gery Mendes became a well-known name in the music world. The theatre world will know him as part of Sir Duke, the collective with which he made productions at Orkater as musician/maker: De Blackout van ’77 (2017), Hatta & De Kom (2018, nominated for BNG award), and Guilty Until Proven (2019). For Woiski vs. Woiski (2017), a co-production by Orkater and Bijlmer Parktheater, he was both an actor and responsible for the music. Gery wishes to pursue his further autonomous development, driven and inspired by his Cape Verdean/African roots.
“Homecoming! Back to my roots. My artistic journey starts in Africa with primary pitstops in Cape Verde and Portugal. These two countries are inextricably linked through a shared history. In these countries I will work with theatre groups, research centres, musicians and other creative makers who have been travelling my new course for many years already. The Fast Forward programme offers me the opportunity to bring together all the knowledge acquired, and to merge it all together to create the foundation for my new ‘All Things Africa’ method."
Photo: Laila Cohen
Photo: Laila Cohen

Jörgen Tjon A Fong (Amsterdam)

Jörgen Tjon A Fong is a director, programme maker/curator and writer. He recently created ‘Hollandse Meesters Her-Zien’ in the Amsterdam wing of the Hermitage Amsterdam Museum, where he asked Dutch celebrities to pose as people of colour in the past. This experience stimulated an interest in researching the context of presentation and how this affects the reception. The ultimate goal is to elaborate and intensify his own signature style as a programme maker/curator through international research and dialogue. Jörgen will work in London, Berlin and New York. These are three countries that each deal with history in their own way, and each having its own discourse. In each country, Jörgen will investigate how new narratives become part of the programming of different theatres. Additionally, he will enter into a dialogue with a museum or scientific institute in each of the countries. The project will conclude with a meetup in the Netherlands.
“I want to use the Fast Forward programme as an opportunity to research the ways in which black European history can be visualised in theatre and the visual arts, in an international context. What knowledge has already been developed in other countries with regard to sharing ‘black’ histories and how can I apply this in the Dutch context? In the United Kingdom there is a greater awareness of how immigration has influenced British culture and society. This development is gradually emerging in Germany, while in the United States social challenges are widely reflected in the arts and science.”

More information about the programme is available here .
Clockwise from the left: Nicole Beutler, Nana Adjoa, Astrid Boons, TENT
Clockwise from the left: Nicole Beutler, Nana Adjoa, Astrid Boons, TENT
The grant recipients, clockwise on the photo: Anoek Nuyens, Strijbos & van Rijswijk, Naomi Velissariou, Slagwerk Den Haag, Katja Heitmann, Tin Men & The Telephone, Arno Schuitemaker, Ensemble Klang.
The grant recipients, clockwise on the photo: Anoek Nuyens, Strijbos & van Rijswijk, Naomi Velissariou, Slagwerk Den Haag, Katja Heitmann, Tin Men & The Telephone, Arno Schuitemaker, Ensemble Klang.
Clockwise, starting top-left: Dunja Jocic, Naomi Velissariou  Club Gewalt and Thomas Azier
Clockwise, starting top-left: Dunja Jocic, Naomi Velissariou Club Gewalt and Thomas Azier
Photo: Tim van Bentum
Photo: Tim van Bentum
Photo: Tetsuro Miyazaki
Photo: Tetsuro Miyazaki
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