Galleries of Contemporary Art


February 6–28, 2010

Ant Hampton, Silvia Mercuriali, Joji Koyama, Isambard Khroustaliov, Tommaso Perego, and Matt Rudkin


Events are free, but space is limited—register to secure your spot.

ETIQUETTE by Ant Hampton and Silvia Mercuriali

Etiquette is a half-hour experience for two people in a public space. There is no-one watching - other people in the cafe or bar are not aware of it. You wear headphones which tell you what to say to each other, or to use one of the objects positioned to the side. There is a kind of magic involved - for it to work you just need to listen and respond accordingly. Etiquette is theatre at its most raw; it is live, insightful, philosophical and incredibly unique. The participants are both the actors and the audience, and the show offers the fantasy of being able to speak without having to think what to say.

GURUGURU by Ant Hampton with Joji Koyama and Isambard Khroustaliov

You have been told what to do every moment of the day, for years on end. The voice in your headphones has understood who you are and gives instructions which mirror what you'd be doing anyway. A life free of dither and uncertainty! In your job, this voice is a career-saver... but the day has come when you need to come ‘off the headphones'. You need help.

Five audience-participants enter a brightly lit room and discover chairs positioned for them around a screen. As they each follow different instructions via headphones, they find themselves at the centre of an oddly familiar dystopia, and that they're wearing headphones permanently, ‘for their own good'. Proceedings are led by an on-screen, animated character whose twin roles of marketing and spiritual Guru are confused by his reliance on untested and accident-prone technologies. The overproduced, digital sheen of this focus-group world begins to crack, as the group edge towards the dangerous situation of having to think for themselves. In true Rotozaza style, a beautifully orchestrated chaos develops, exposing today's consumer-mad inability to distinguish between what we want, and what we need.

WONDERMART by Silvia Mercuriali with Tommaso Perego and Matt Rudkin

Wondermart takes a mischievous swipe at the dominance of supermarket culture and consumerism. This interactive audio tour takes you on a journey of rediscovery through the familiar surroundings of the supermarket. Wearing headphones and anonymous behind your trolley, you are guided around the aisles immersed in a private world, as the carefully constructed soundscape overlays a fictional world that blurs the real with the imaginary.

Here's what the press has to say:

"Wondermart is an absorbing journey into the heart of modern consumerism." The List (Wondermart)

"The concept is clever and the result an altered engagement with the commonplace." Irish Times (Wondermart)

"gripping... If the line between audience and performer seems blurred, Rotozaza's Etiquette erases it entirely." New York Times/Herald Tribune (Etiquette)

"This is a magical, unthreatening experience... the act of relinquishing responsibility for thought, word and action is unique and the effect is unmissable." British Theatre Guide (Etiquette)

"Hugely entertaining... This smart, mysterious exercise in programmed thinking and collective chaos is strange but exhilarating." The Times (GuruGuru)

"You may find yourself frantically looking for yourself again in the moments after the performance has finished." The Guardian (GuruGuru)