xue mu – portrait 2: ijbert verweij
21 Nov 2013

Teijin auditorium, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam
8 - 9 pm
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IJbert Verweij was born into a conservative Dutch protestant family. He spent five years of his childhood in Nepal, where his parents were missionaries and helped build a church. Then the family returned to the Netherlands and IJbert attended a Dutch elementary school; he began rebelling against his family’s religion at the age of nine. He was not a model student, but didn’t shy from asking the most difficult questions, such as ‘what is art?’ He went to a theater school at the age of eleven and since then has never stopped acting – despite the fact that he repeatedly jumps into conflicts with his directors, or that he has put much more love into acting itself than in the representation of acting. He believes he was born to be an actor. 

In this monologue piece, real life experiences become fiction as IJbert Verweij acts out the role of IJbert Verweij. Ijbert Verweij convolutes complex patterns of desire and the performance unfolds the struggle of the existential doubts from which those patterns emerge. From the candid display of doubt, self-awareness, and (un)fulfilled desires, beauty is born. The story of Ijberg Verweij is real, but the situation is not. One thing is for sure: the protagonist’s story will not be heard until IJbert Verweij becomes IJbert Verweij

Portrait 2: Ijberg Verweij is part of the ongoing Portraits Project (2013-2014) by Xue Mu, in which she takes four different people from various backgrounds (but who all like to dance) as a point of departure for developing new performance works. For more information about Xue Mu, please visit

The performance Portrait 2: Ijberg Verweij by Xue Mu is made possible in collaboration with the Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst.