“To prepare your senses for what you might experience here, I propose a little exercise. Place both hands on your ears. Spread your fingers a bit so you can still hear me. Close your eyes and drop your head slightly backwards, as if an invisible someone behind you is supporting your head…” (excerpt from the performance script)

Sightless Seeing #5: Rehearsing the Archive is a preparation for the performative tour Sightless Seeing #5: The Tin Collection. It is a practice in progress which would have been performed live during the opening of the process exhibition The spread of a crack is halted by a hole. The cancellation of the opening and the public rehearsal provoked this new video by Sarah van Lamsweerde, which is now part of the collective Sightless Seeing Project.

Sightless Seeing #5: The Tin Collection was developed during a research period in the former Theatre Institute Nederland (TIN) Collection which is stored in the IWO book depot in Amsterdam Zuid-Oost. Performer and dancer Leroy de Böck was going to guide small groups into the dark depot. In March 2020, not just the opening of the exhibition but also the Sightless performances in the IWO book depot were canceled. Once the depot is reopened and it is deemed safe to gather in small groups again, we intend to present Sightless Seeing #5: The Tin Collection in real life.

In the meantime, Leroy and Sarah have been rehearsing the tour with a scale model of the depot. In the video, Sightless Seeing #5: Rehearsing the Archive, the scale model is being explored, refurnished, and marked with tactile arrows and braille numbers. Leroy rehearses the text and demonstrates one of the exercises created to prepare the visitors’ senses for time travel in the depot.

The TIN-collection was once housed in a monumental Herengracht canal-house, which was forced to close as a result of severe cuts to cultural budgets in the Netherlands in 2011. The TIN-collection contains more than half a million artifacts and documents. In 2012, the Allard Pierson Museum took the collection under its wings and is now contemplating how to present parts of this collection to the public again.

concept and text: Sarah van Lamsweerde
performance and text: Leroy de Böck
camera and editing: Alina Ozerova
executive producers and props: Marjoca de Greef
and Anastasija Pandilovska for Suns and Stars

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