© Winne Lievens

The Weiss-effect

The Weiss effect attempts to show what can happen when you prefer the beauty of a fiction over raw reality. After having written a dialogue, a quartet Hof van Eede now presents a trio of literary super-fans, whose lives circle around the work of the artist Edgard Weiss (1873–1924).

The show welcomes the audience at the yearly celebration of Edgard Weiss’ writing (and destruction) of his one and only master piece: the play that had to be the focal point of all the artistic influences he absorbed: Echo’s Bones (echoing Samuel Beckett’s famous theatre play). In the character of (the late) Edgard Weiss Hof van Eede has tackled an essential question that puzzles especially artists: If all art and every artist is influenced by other artists, how do you become more than merely the sum of all your influences? How can you acknowledge and embrace your influences and by doing so become truly ‘authentic’?

The celebration turns into a reenactment of the night during which Weiss wrote, and destroyed, his masterpiece. The audience becomes increasingly aware that Edgard Weiss, however plausibly knit into the fabric of late 19th and early 20th century history, might be a fiction, not only invented by the authors of the play, but also by the characters themselves (allthough many members of the audience end up googling him after the show just to be sure). This shared fiction – an invented author – binds these three souls together in a myth that allows them to deal with the world, but also shields them from it. They’re living the fiction as in a collective psychosis, but there are increasingly sharper cracks in the ceiling. They look at the world through the lens of art, (re-)enchanting the world by seeing it as if it were a work of art. Art connects them to the world, but also prevents them from actually having to deal with it, and with each other, directly. In the end, the play is all about loneliness and the question whether and how art can cure that most existential of human diseases.

tekst Louise Van den Eede, Wannes Gyselinck en Ans Van den Eede
with Pieter-Jan De Wyngaert, Greg Timmermans and Ans Van den Eede
technical support Jan Bekaert
productieleiding, decor en geluidsontwerp Ruben Nachtergaele
production Hof van Eede
coproduction kc NONA
in collaboration with CAMPO
with support from de Vlaamse Overheid and het Vlaams Fond voor de Letteren