11 3 8 7

Trevoga

“Zoological Department” reads the sign above an arch, through which are glimpses of animal specimens in glass cabinets. The hall in front features 19th-century interiors, classical decorations, heroic figures in statuesque poses. The setting, in the Hessian State Museum Darmstadt, speaks of the past, the natural world and the idealised human body, so of course this performance – 11387, by Netherlands-based trio Trevoga – comes as a jolt to its system. Three android figures appear, flesh (neo)liberally exposed but also encrusted with manufactured items: white contact lenses, pink plasters, hairpieces, fat-soled boots. One woman has a pig snout, another a rope-like ponytail. All nipples are masked by a latex layer.

Visually it’s arresting, and freighted with connotations: cyborg beings, the incorporation of consumer products, unerotic sexual fetishism. Dramatically it seems strangely adrift. A sequence of scenes – a wedding march, snorting powder off a treadmill, of laboured breathing and robot dancing – builds a powerful picture, that doesn’t go anywhere. If this is a vision of our future, perhaps that’s the point.

Sanjoy Roy

If you’ve been doomscrolling on TikTok lately, you’ve probably come across the NPC (non-playable character) trend. Trevoga’s 11 3 8 7 choreographically explores the repetitive, almost mechanical movement associated with these background characters in video game culture. Three performers are morphed into non-human avatars, with patches of prosthetic skin covering their bodies and white contact lenses making their eyes look hollow. Lurking around accompanied by the sound of joints cracking, theirs is a journey of discovering the unsettling ways in which these seemingly artificial bodies work. This entails snorting cocaine off a treadmill through a fake pig snout, vomiting bloody tongues and synchronised dancing to Slayyyyter’s Daddy AF. Watching 11 3 8 7 unfold feels like a frightening dive into the social media whirlpool of dehumanisation. The morning light filtered through the windows of the Hessisches Landesmuseum in Darmstadt offers the only ray of hope – maybe there is actual skin left under the prosthetics, after all.

Daria Ancuța

The clouded eyes, scant clothing and prosthetic bodies that create the nightmarish and pornographic aesthetic of Trevoga’s 1 1 3 8 7, are presented in a cold, clinical fashion. The trio (Neda Ruzheva, Antonina Pushkareva and Erikas Žilaitis) walk aimlessly on the marble floor of the Hessisches Landesmuseum like characters in a videogame; they vomit fake blood; one of them snorts fake cocaine with her prosthetic pig snout; they do classical bourrées for a few seconds and go back to the minimalistic hovering that permeates the piece. None of these events have any consequence or impact.

What we are offered is a 35-minute background scene that merely suggests some sort of commentary behind it. The disjointed movement that breaks this general monotony, while displaying the flexibility of the dancers, is often out of sync with the sound effects with which it is paired. The deliberately distasteful makeup is undoubtedly professional, and becomes the main event in this otherwise empty piece.

Francesc Nello Deakin