coffee&prejudice - A kind of portrait or a one to one performance installation by mercimax (2012)

Which stories about past misdemeanours do you believe is a person capable of? coffee&prejudice invites you to test your powers of judgement live in a 1:1 confrontation. With the MERCIMAX collective we have been exploring identity parades in our most recent theatre production. This format is used not as a criminalist study of a community but as a theatrical metaphor of a situation where judgement is required. 

As an audience you sit down at a table with the headphones on and you wait. You see the first person arriving through the door. When coming in, the performer closes the door behind him, and you are alone with him/her at the coffee table. You listen to their stories: Sometimes it is the truth and sometimes it is a lie. What am I prepared to believe? The answers are mostly given, as the stories are commented on by saying if they are true or not. Meanwhile you are being observed, watched by the performer. The bizarre thing is, that you are in a very personal “interieur” space, because of the headphones but at the same time, you share a very intimate moment with someone you do not know. You just have to sit there, watch and listen. Both sides seem fragile - and this creates a very interesting tension. Apart from also hearing very personal stories, it becomes very human – you can’t really (re)act or escape. They talk about what is important to them, what makes them angry or happy and they talk about what they regret - and about moral misdoings, offences and even a crime. Obviously coffee&prejudice is strongly inspired by “8:8 Die Gegenüberstellung”. We longed for a total “zoom”. A one to one situation – more intimacy; A place that becomes very hard to escape from. A confrontation and a kind of living portrait.

coffee&prejudice may be shown in a gallery, an entry hall, a "real" living room or kitchen. 

By Karin Arnold & Jessica Huber / Music, Technic: Mischa Robert / With: Tom Benke, Eva Gagel / Photo: Jessica Huber -- more information on www.mercimax ch

Developed in coproduction with the PAZZ Performing Arts Festival in Oldenburg 2012.