Pieter T’Jonck in De Tijd, Fri 22th of June 2004

A Vicious Masterpiece

Big 2nd episode (Show/Business) by Superamas is a masterpiece: with its formal shrewdness and slightly malicious humor, it poses pertinent questions which you can't immediately answer. It's art.


While the public enters the theater, a band is waiting for them. The band is in a relaxed way playing airguitar on loungemusic by Saint-Germain. On the filmscreen follows a fragment from the filmcomedy 'Zoolander'. A male photo-model asks his friends if they shouldn't help 'people' instead of being merely ridiculously good-looking. Answer: precisely with our 'look' we help people to dream, and in case of

need there is still cappuccino. Afterwards the bunch makes an elated drive throuhg town that ends at a gass station. There it all goes wrong: their jolly game of spraying fuell ends with an explosion.

The filmfragment is no coincidence: Big 2 explores the fantasma of immediate and total fullfilment of desires ˆ eternally young, good-looking, and sexy ˆ of Western culture. Thinking of an add is enough to chase away dark thoughts. Improbable claims on the image of happiness do have price, though: the repressed returns in the form of fear for an impredictable, catastrophical disaster.

Big 2 contains only two livescenes, which are continuously repeated with minimal variations. Moreover, these are brought in 'overdub', as if the actors are ventriloquist-puppets. In the first scene two men meet the beautiful air hostess (Eliza Benureau) in a cosmetics shop. She yields herself as the perfect fantasy to their desires. These desires are less clear than their fullfilment. This is evident from a video in which Benureau appears as a 'catwoman' who is laying a guy. The editing suggests first a violent confrontation, but ends up in an anti-climax. The liveset finishes predictably as doubling of the Zoolander-fragment. With Benureau in sexy underwear, the whole bunch start spraying each other with deo.

In the second scene one of the Superamas-members is talking with John Rose, the head of Rolls Royce, about his business-perspectives. The conversation, in which Rose remarks that he fired 5000 people due to the economical depression in the aviation business, halts abruptly when Benureau appears on stage. All of a sudden, Rose has no more attention for business-affairs. Almost viciously, this scene is crossed by manipulated images of the young Jean-Luc Godard. He talks about cinema as a bridge between art and reality. A bit later he's dealing with the special status of the artist, who is the only one who can call upon women to take place in his universe. What this means becomes clear at the end, when we see a vulgar clip by Britney Spears as a male-devouring airhostess.

'Art' and pure explotation are doubling each other in an obscene way. Also here Zoolander turn up with yet another repetition of the scene. The actors are are smirching each other with whisky until a machine gun starts to shoot the scene to rags. Afterwards it's business as usual'. The epilogue with theatercritic Martin Hargreaves is the cherry cake of this performance. He is asking himself whether a critical position outside the mediacircus is possible at all. Good question, after this Big 2.


Pieter T'Jonck, De Tijd, 22/06/04, p.16