2019 – 2021 project: Variations of Beckett

Schouskollektivet is calling artists/scientists/academics working and living in Norway to contribute to a new artistic research platform starting in 2019.

The research is focusing on Samuel Beckett’s works, and is initiated by Schouskollektivet’s artistic director Sophie Barth. The participants’ practices are the departure points to research his works. Some previous knowledge is thus needed to be a part of the group, but you don’t need to be a Beckett expert.

Schouskollektivet will work together with the invited artists to explore whether we could talk of performance anthropology as a work method, and if so, that the performative mind is the key to developing new theories? All is connected to the language of Beckett, of understanding poetry, rethorics, theatre and the ”end of language” in a postmodern context. Have we moved passed Beckett by now? Or did he reach beyond literature?

Examples of research themes

”Since Beckett has no intention of advancing the action, phatic communion is a perfect anti-plot device. Consistent with his principle of plot-avoidance Beckett’s heroes use words and perform gestures that are intended to be amusing, in order to pass time. In a self-delusional process, [Beckett’s hero] seeks not to amuse others but to cheat his own boredom. In desperation, the characters force a running conversation, even if what they say is false.” (Eliopulos, 1975)

The final striking characteristic of Beckett’s style is, paradoxically, the absence of language. Susan Sontag offers insight into the concept:

”In the greatest art, one is always aware of things that cannot be said, of the contradiction between expression and the presence of the inexpressible. Stylistic devices are also techniques of avoidance. The most potent elements in a work of art are, often, its silence”. (Eliopulos, 1975).

Furthermore, what can we discover in the process of studying texts that are very open to interpretations and yet are bound to a specific literary form? What new ways may we work with literature and language as approaches to performative thinking?
By ”performative” we do not mean to ”perform on stage” but rather a way of taking an idea and putting it to action on the floor. This experimental way of conducting research will pave the way for truly understand texts that are not meant to solely live on a page, but to be projected in the space.

New collaboration with Nina Krogh

Nina has an MFA in Art and Public space from Oslo National Academy of the Arts. Her works use the human voice and language as material. She also works as a singer. Her works explores what information lies in the voice, and how voice and verbal language is connected to body language, often working in a multicultural and multilingual context. The works often take shape in sound, video and text installations. As part of the process she looks to research from psychology and linguistics. This has led her wanting to create a platform for facilitating collaborations between artists and scientists, and how to develop a vocabulary, borrowing methods from each others fields both for research and dissemination.

About Schouskollektivet

We are an interdisciplinary platform, and focuses on the exchange between artists, between artists and fields outside of the arts, as well as the public. Schouskollektivet has been hosting études, The Research Room and also the mini-festival Schouskollektivet Extended. It was founded by Sophie Barth in 2016 whilst working at Deichmanske Bibliotek, Grüneløkka. She is educated as a theatre director, and is using this background as a way of researching how it translates into different roles. From 2019 Nina Krogh will lead the Beckett-Hub together with Sophie.


Schouskollektivet is currently applying for funding for the Beckett-Hub project, and will know around march/april whether there it will be possible to give all artists a symbolic fee alongside covering food and travel. If we should get the funds, all artists will be given 1000 NOK per workshop weekend. We will have in total five sessions where we will have discussions and workshop our ideas. All artists are responsible of their own process alongside these sessions, and thus can also apply for extra funding for developing their personal Beckett project. Schouskollektivet will be providing all necessary help in the applications processes, and follow up the work of each artist suited to their needs.

At the end of the year, in November 2019, Schouskollektivet will organise a happening showcasing the work that has been developed over the course of almost a year. The idea is to have many different art forms represented in one room, and that different performances and art works should happen/appear almost simultaneously. Schouskollektivet will be in charge of applying for funds for this specific event. Venue TBC.  

Session layout

The first session will deal with mapping out ideas and start reflecting on what you want to do as an artist researching Beckett. Sophie and Nina will hold an introduction of his work followed by different exercises to get us started. Some previous knowledge is needed to be a part of the group, but you don’t need to be a Beckett expert. None of us are, and hence this is why we have this group: we grow and develop our knowledge together. Furthermore we are not aiming to cover everything – at least not in a year – but cover something and do it very thoroughly. After the first it is not compulsory but it is recommended to read up on Beckett, and find a specific topic which is interesting to you. For the next session you will have to come with concrete performative ideas connected to the work you have chosen.

Our working language will be English, although we will also look at different translations and how to present Beckett’s work to a Norwegian audience.  


Send us a short motivation letter, and attach your CV.

Send it to:

We ask that you are available for these two first sessions:

23rd – 24th February

13th – 14th April

All sessions will be held during daytime in weekends.

The rest of the group discussions/workshops will be decided amongst the artists in the group. Please note that when applying you are committing to the first two sessions, and preferably for the whole year. We would like a stable group to work with in order to have a good experience in the Beckett Hub.

Deadline: 8th February at 4pm.

All applicants will get a response shortly after the deadline.

We are seeking 4 participants for this first edition.

Location: All sessions will be at Oslo teatersenter at Tøyen in Oslo.



En performance-installasjon

Sted: Oslo teatersenter

Tid: 10. – 11. november – Åpent under hele Oslo Friteaterfestival 2018

Opptaket er en begynnelsen på det nye prosjektet ”Variasjoner over Beckett” i regi av Schouskollektivets kunstneriske leder Sophie Barth. I 2019 skal Schouskollektivet begynne iverksettelsen av et tre-års program der kunstnere inviteres inn i enn ”Beckett-hub” for å forske i Samuel Becketts verker.

Opptaket er basert på stykket Krapp’s Last Tape, og utforsker et intimt performance-format hvor publikum kommer inn i et lukket rom en etter en for å gjøre stemmeopptak. Som publikum har man friheten til å velge hva man vil dele, om det er fiksjon eller virkelighet, minner eller kanskje stream of consciousness. Inne på sminkerommet på Oslo teatsersenter sitter man foran speilene, på bakrommet, i et av stedene der man ikke gjør performance men heller gjør seg klar til en. Performance-installasjonen ligger i spennet mellom det offentlige og det private, og utforsker selve handlingen om å gå inn i et rom for å bruke en kassettspiller, der man kan se lyden som spilles inn. Vil noe endre seg i prosessen? Eller deler vi det samme som vi ville gjort online? Hva velger vi å dele?

Alle publikummere har 15 min til disposisjon til hvert opptak. Performance-installasjonen er åpen under hele festivalen.

Lyden vil ikke spilles av offentlig, men er en del av utforskningen for å etablere ”Variasjoner over Beckett”, og vil bare bli brukt i denne prosessen.

(ENG) The Recording

A performance installation

The Recording is the beginning of the upcoming project ”Variations of Beckett” directed by Schouskollektivet’s artistic director Sophie Barth. In 2019 Schouskollektivet will start the process of establishing a three-year program where artists are invited to parttake in a ”Beckett-hub” in order to research his works.

The Recording is based on the play Krapp’s Last Tape, and explores a intimate performance format where the audience members enter a closed room one by one to make a voice recording. As audience you are free to share whatever you like, whether it’s fiction or reality, memories or stream of consciousness. In the make-up room at Oslo teatersenter you sit in front of the mirrors, back-stage, in one of the places you don’t do the performance itself but get ready for it. The performance installation is moving inbetween the public and the private, and investigates the action of entering a room to use a casette player where you can also witness the sound being recorded. Will something change in the process? Or will you share the same things that you share online? What are you choosing to share?

All audience members have 15 minutes each to their disposition, and the performance installation will be open throughout the festival.

The sound will not be played publicly, but is a part of the research to establish ”Variations of Beckett”, and will only be used in this process.