Radio Review Excerpts
Pieter T’Jonck

(…) and so now there is a new piece, While We Were Holding It Together, that once again deals with representation. The source that Müller draws from this time is academic painting – the nineteenth century style that is – and its theatrical counterpart, the tableau vivant. A tableau vivant was a party game played by the bourgeoisie of the period. Basically, it consisted of people dressing up and, in a group, taking on a particular pose. It was then up to the others present to guess what scene was being represented. The analogy with David or Géricault’s work is clear: puffed up rhetoric and affected postures are the very essence of this game. If you assess these works from the viewpoint of a search for authenticity, they are hard to swallow. But despite that, and for a decades, people gazed in admiration at these highly formalised and rather ethereal displays that had little relation to ‘real’ events. And this was still in a time renowned for its pursuit of ultimate realism. Müller does not step on the slippery ice of historical study of these representations; they are instead a kind of springboard for a discussion of theatricality and representation in general – and its stubborn endurance.
In an interview with Veto she said the following on this subject: ‘Three things were important to me. Firstly I was interested in investigating the representation of a body, and the body itself, and particularly how a body is represented in the context of theatre. Secondly I am fascinated by the way in which images can be manipulated by the imagination related matter is how we can talk of truth and reality. Thirdly I wondered if I could make a performance in which the audience’s responsibility is almost as great as the performers’. How could I create a performance that only comes into being if the audience participates, while not asking the audience to be anything other than the audience?’
(…) an important attraction of the performance lies not only in the conceptually brilliant demonstration of the power of theatrical folly but also in the métier with which this is achieved. An improbable proposition – five immobile actors almost haphazardly give vent to imagined images – is transformed into a performance that transfixes from start to finish and even more, directs the audience and thus involves it in the spectacle.

Radio Klara, Program Ramblas