The Self Design Academy (EN)

Pan~// Catwalk (2020)


Catwalk Kaapstad Festival
Photo by Jostijn Ligtvoet

A performance project about humanity’s multi-coloured nature.

From worn-down jeans jacket to extravagant glitter dress: our attire is an expression of who we are, want to be, and sometimes have to be. What does that second skin convey about us? Do people wear clothes or are people being worn by their clothes? The makers of Zwermers are fascinated by the force of this second skin. The company pays tribute to our colourful and protean species with an installation that regularly springs to life in a performance. You, the viewer, are taken along by two performers in a constant stream of outfit changes, supported by the repetitive soundtrack of a one-man-orchestra playing violin and walkstation. For the duration of The Self Design Acamdey, the makers will look for typical Eindhoven clothing identities, which they will translate in a new performance to close the exhibition.

In addition, during this exhibition, Zwermers will start building an image bank in which they want to collect as many people as possible in all their appearances. Zwermers invites you to become part of this work by letting us photograph you and your attire. 

Pan~// Catwalk plays on the human inclination to label anything we see. This project both stimulates and undermines that urge. The continuous getting in and out of outfits results in an enumeration of all kinds of ‘people’. The project isn’t judging the various types of people, but shows our identity’s fluidity by an incessant change of dress.

Zwermers duo
Photo by Jostijn Ligtvoet

About Zwermers

Zwermers is a Tilburg-based performance company of singular makers who create in situ and interdisciplinary performances. The company is rooted in Brabant and likes to swarm out (inter)nationally. It is part of their artistic core values to conduct an ongoing open dialogue with both the audience and fellow makers/artists. Zwermers plays different stages and festivals in the Netherlands and Belgium. The nucleus of the company is made up of Inez Wolters, Paul van de Waterlaat, Wouter de Belder and Sander Verbiest, who were joined for this project by photographer Jostijn Ligtvoet and dramaturge Loes Buenen.

Zwermers’ work is based on the idea that imagination makes the mind resilient and resilient people constitute a healthy society. This inevitably implies diversity in the areas of identity, descent, gender and sexual preference. Under the header of Pan~ (ancient Greek for ‘all’) the company continuously investigates the themes of gender and identity and the normativity inextricably linked to them, aiming to embrace the social person in all their manifestations, which is to be inclusive. The resulting performances combine elements from various disciplines, including physical dance theatre, costume design, live music and installation art. This exhibition will be Zwervers’ debut in a museum context.