THEATRE, INSTALLATIONS, VISUAL ART AND PURPOSELESS CONTRAPTIONS
Welcome at the Spullenmen. On this website you will find information about our company and all ongoing projects.
The Spullenmen make visual theatre and theatrical installations. They share a fascination for old 'spullen', Dutch for 'things' or 'stuff'. With lost-and-founds and scrap yard parts they developed their own specific visual language, which they put to use in standalone contraptions, hidden (street) performance, short acts and full theatre productions. Projects by the Spullenmen distinguish by an inventive clumsiness that is constructed with great care and precision. Bumbling engineering solutions and an uneasy timing offer a disarming insight in the often-underestimated potential of spullen and the sometimes-awkward desires of human beings. The Spullenmen do not aim for one genre or discipline of arts, but instead seek for the shape that a specific idea needs. In this way a very diverse audience is addressed, both in the Netherlands and abroad.
De Spullenmannen are a collective of autodidact visual artists and performers, operating under the Absurd Netherlands Foundation. The Spullenmen perform in the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Germany, Denmark, Austria, Hungary and Norway.
A project by the Spullenmen always starts in the Spullenlab: the playground of the Spullenmen. Here it is that ideas are born, spullen is collected, and experiments are carried out. This may be done in the seclusion of the workshop in Amersfoort, but also on a specific site, in front of an audience. It is the interaction with a location or an audience that puts ideas to the test, and often brings about unexpected inspiration. The audience is provided a view behind the scenes of the Spullenmen, it shares the excitement over a freshly conceived idea, and it witnesses trials that often go all directions and probably never will reach a destination: darlings that will be killed in due time when making a performance, bad ideas that are bound to go wrong but simply have to be tried, and crazy inventions that ever fail to become more than promising. In this stage it is about screwing, welding, riveting, rehearsing, and above all drinking endless pots of tea. In the Spullenlab the seeds are grown, which may develop into a full theatre show, a special street act, or an artistic installation. Ideas may be an instant success, go through an elaborate development, or die young in the Spullenlab. Not until the Spullenmen think that a work in progress has outgrown the Spullenlab, it is given its definitive name, and thereby a distinct place in the repertoire. From then on performances and installations are publicly staged. The latest information is always available on the website www.spullenmannen.nl