Johannes Bellinkx – Reverse

24th – 27th August 2018

Noorderzon Festival, Groningen, The Netherlands

Johannes Bellinkx and his crew made an adaptation, a completely new project on every venue, location they perform. They placed site visits from May and worked nonstop from the start of August to get their project up and running for the festival. Reverse makes people turn upside down, and question their own heritage, their trust. Reverse is a route of about 1 – 1,5 km where you walk backwards, all you see is a white line (the ‘route) in front of you, as you walk backwards. During the route, your senses are triggered (smell, sound, touch) and you are wearing headphones with an audio walk. Also this is for us a very special project: in production terms, is was a big challenge; to guarantee every participant safety, to create the route with the group together and to get permits for all the special places en route (as parking garages, schools, private houses). But the other side of this is, an ultimate artistic and social test of our trust relationship with our audience: all the audience trust Noorderzon enough, to let us ‘guide’ you do to something un-natural (walking backwards across busy roads), for about an  hour. This made this project, in a way, deeply emotional for us: our audience bought tickets (almost all was sold out) and art can bring people thus far, that one puts their trust in us and the maker, fully. To us, this was a fundamental test, of the power to connect or re-connect, via an artistic project.

Backing valiantly into the unknown

Are you always moving full speed ahead, resolutely fixed on the familiar? Reverse by Johannes Bellinkx invites you to do exactly the opposite: in this unusual audio walk, you back your way through the city. Bellinkx, a Belgian based in Amsterdam, challenges you to embrace the unexpected. It is the sheer simplicity of Reverse that makes it so exceptional: just by – literally – reversing an everyday pattern, Bellinkx manages to cast the familiar in an entirely fresh light. As such, Reverse is much more than a jarring sensual experience and a pleasant debauch of liberating child’s play: the walk challenges the Western idea of linear time perception. What would our existence mean if we were to submit ourselves to a universe in which past, present and future take place simultaneously, as in many Asian and African cultures?


Bunker AltArt Foundation Maria Matos Teatro Municipal Artsadmin Parc et Grande Halle de la Villette Noorderzon Performing Arts Festival Groningen Santarcangelo dei Teatri Arts and Theatre Institute Festival De Keuze / Rotterdamse Schouwburg Walking Theory

Fond B92 / Cultural Center REX Balkan Express Institute for Applied Theatre Studies