After the stage performance SPARE TIME WORK (2021), buren continues its investigation of social roles and power relations in shoe/farm. This time, the duo starts from the places where they grew up: a farm in Zeeuws-Vlaanderen and a shoe shop along the Belgian coast.
They invert the dance floor of SPARE TIME WORK: from the grey floor that depicted the environment of school, office, golf course and nursery to a sand-coloured ground from which semi-industrialised agricultural scenes and scenes around dinnertime for breadwinners unfold. They engage with customs, habits and specific sayings associated with farm life and shoe sales: Life's hard on the farm and Customer is king!
With a nod to the typical West Flemish work ethic of 'Doe mo deure' and 'Ni neffest je schoen loopn', they put on the shoes of their ancestors, drawing on their own experiences and imagination as 'daughters of'. Their personal experience is linked to broader social issues around production processes, working conditions and consumerism, among others. The worlds of the 'shoe' and the 'farm' merge. Together with Benne Dousselaere (sound) and Vera Martins (light), they 'shoe farm' further and explore what position the audience can take within this imagination. They interpret different functions, being at the head of the business and at the bottom or beside: from shoemaker, farmer and servant to servant and consumer, from family business to chain.
Shoe/farm is a work that manifests itself in different phases and forms. The performance 7 Means Dinner for a Breadwinner, shown in early September 2022 at the Lustwarande in Tilburg, was a first step. In it, the focus was more on farm life. From August 2023, buren started creating shoe/farm, bringing the duo's different worlds together. During Playground (Leuven) in November 2023, buren presented a performance where the audience takes place in and around the scenography, and within which different musical scenes unfold. A new episode will follow during It Takes a City (Brussels) in February 2024.