Installation Elephants in Rooms at HAU

Gob Squad

Gob Squad is a seven headed bisexual, binational and bilingual (English/German) arts collective. They have been devising, directing and performing together since 1994, working where theatre meets art, media and real life. Founded in Nottingham in 1994, Berlin has been the group’s creative home since 1999, and since many years HAU Hebbel am Ufer is their base in Berlin. HAU, a highly regarded international production house positioned at the interface of theatre, dance and performance, presented Gob Squad’s Elephants in Rooms (2022) where unique, interdisciplinary ideas came together in a multifaceted exhibition. The exhibition used certain sensorial elements to invite the viewer into the space and the installed work. There was a continuous use of paper throughout the video montages, however, used in unconventional ways such as a hat or bag. The field school students reminisced on their sonic experience, noting that the work created hysteria, hallucination, and disembodiment from the image.

Before entering the HAU, tea was offered outside at the beginning. This set the tone in which the visitors interacted with the work– tea would later be a common theme to the exhibition. This invited a certain ceremonial aspect as well as a homely experience, as if visitors were joining the subjects for tea yet curiously observing their life from afar. Experimental music sounds alongside vocal accompaniment were all heard from the videos themselves but spatially stretched in the room. The space was carefully curated to expand visitors' constant complex relationship with technology and technologically produced environments.