If someone is going to play my part
24 Feb 2013

Excerpt Pressrelease Stage Geographies:


The works of Anneke A. de Boer examine human behavior and role playing, and focus on how people identify with certain behavioral roles in given situations. Her works are the result of staged situations, within which participating performers play themselves.

De Boer makes use of working methods that have their origins in social psychology and cinema.

These methods, intended to fathom the essence of man, are tested in different settings and simulations. The settings and simulations may derive from scientific studies, from theatrical practice, business training or cinematic performance. Examples of recent works which applied these methodologies:


"Playing Undetermined Roles" (2003/2009): a situation of a business training, "Running and Falling - Actress and Stuntwoman" (2004): a film scene with a stand-in as key figure, and "If someone is going to play my part" (2011): an interview and observation method as in psychoanalysis.

The multi- media installation "If someone is going to play my part", shows the results of De Boer’s project, which was a research into roles and identity. The work questions the concept of "the self".

In this project De Boer uses the interview as a method to come closer to one"s mental world. At the same time it is an adequate instrument to generate a possible "script". Several participants were interviewed, with questions surrounding the theme of their identity and personality. The questions explore what an actor should know in order to be able to "play" the interviewees. Furthermore, De Boer recorded staged video. These recordings, featuring ordinary people in their self-chosen poses, refer to camera castings and tests for cinema. This project was conducted with residents of Detroit (USA), during a three-month residency.

In the arrangement of the installation "If someone is going to play my part", the audio recordings deliver descriptions: the visitor listens to how each of the individuals talk about themselves and respond to the questions. The video footage, in which people "present" themselves, reveals a certain vulnerability of the character and refers to (self-) promotion, but also to scientific observation. The additional text gives us insight in the working method and the questions asked.