A “haunted house” is set in motion in the heart of Athens, and Dries Verhoeven exhorts us to enter the “Phobiarama” ride and banish the culture of fear that is eating away at us.
The only way to banish our fears is to face up to them”, says Dries Verhoeven (b. 1976), and that’s precisely what he invites us to do as we enter the darkness of the tent pitched in the heart of the city with Phobiarama glowing in neon beside it.
A live-performance installation, a ride to be experienced in the centre of the city, Phobiarama is the latest work from the internationally-acclaimed Dutch artist and director who presented No man’s land at the OCC’s 1st Fast Forward Festival three years ago, in which viewers were given a guided tour of downtown Athens by and through a reality of being an immigrant. Phobiarama is a site-specific performance which simulates the contemporary theatre of fear infiltrating our daily existence, and invites you to enter a labyrinthine ride which seeks to cast out all that haunts us.
Now, to tell the truth: what are you most scared of? An abandoned suitcase in an airport? The possibility of leaving the Euro? The financial crisis, nationalism or the extreme-right national parties? Terrorism and the global security services?
The world première of Phobiarama, a co-production by the OCC and the Holland Festival, problematizes, exposes and dissects the strategies of fear and personal precarity, inviting us to demystify and expose the “wizard” behind a global fear mongering.