Specially Invited Plays

The Netherlands


Created by Erin Tjin A Ton and Gosia Kaczmarek


October 26, 2019, 11:00/15:00/18:00

October 27, 2019, 11:00/15:00/18:00

October 28, 2019, 11:00/15:00/18:00

WHERE: Zhaoming Academy

Duration: 56 minutes (with preshow talk & post show photo opportunities)

No lines, without subtitles


This very sophisticated and unusual art piece combines so many ideas on so many levels. It is visually intriguing: the intricate folding and amplification of forms into shadow is simply beautiful and invites us into Kafka’s head by wandering through the minutiae of his office. The piece is so well designed, detailed. The effective and skillful manipulation is quite engaging and surprisingly effective. A true work of art.

– Arlyn Award Jury’s Comment, arlynaward.org

BetweenTwoHands creates an all-embracing universe of paper that plays with dimensions and proportions. In the installation are tiny perforators, paper clips, envelopes, and binders, but also gigantic, menacingly moving men in suits, and a huge envelope for international mail to fold yourself into.

– Boukje Cnossen, Theaterkrant

About Paperwork

Paperwork is a theatrical installation inspired by the life and work of the Prague writer, Franz Kafka. Our aim was for the viewer to be able to feel as alienated, out of place or astonished as the protagonist often feels in the stories of Kafka.

We decided to work with paper for numerous reasons. Firstly, paper refers to all the paperwork involved in bureaucracy. Secondly, paper is a material that can transform from 2D to 3D. Finally, we found paper to be a material that represents the vulnerability of the protagonist from Kafka’s stories. As the reader, you get a sense of the vulnerable nature of the protagonists; this is how you experience the fragility of the paper objects as a viewer of Paperwork.

We wanted the objects to tie in with an office. On the one hand, in order to emphasize the bureaucracy in Kafka’s stories, while on the other hand, to depict the life of Kafka as office clerk and writer. We wanted the viewer to gain a glimpse into an office life which is as if you are given a glimpse into Kafka’s head, in which all kinds of stories are brewing, while he was just working in the office.

We wanted to provide the visitor with an experience through Paperwork, a glimpse into an absurdist, Kafkaesque office of paper. The viewer himself/herself decides how long he or she wants to continue watching the performance. There is no beginning and no end. The performers continue repeating the loop.


Concept, design & performance: Erin Tjin A Ton, Gosia Kaczmarek

Final direction: Anna Verduin

Animation: Klaske Oenema

Sound design: Marcel de Rooij

Cameraman & editor: Ruben Pest

Costumes: Zahra Ait Ben Moh

Graphic design: Mariusz Kaczmarek

Photographer, objects: Nick van Tiem

Photographer, performance: Tudor Bratu

Thanks to Amsterdam Fund for the Arts, Feikes Huis and Over het IJ Festival

This project has been supported by Performance Infinity.

About Erin Tjin A Ton & Gosia Kaczmarek

Erin Tjin A Ton (1985) is an artist born in the Netherlands with a Chinese-Suriname mom and an Indonesian father. She studied at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy (BA) in Amsterdam and Artistic Research (MA) at the University of Amsterdam. Since 2015, she has been working in the artist collective BetweenTwoHands with the Polish artist Gosia Kaczmarek.

Gosia Kaczmarek (1981) is an artist born in Poland and living in the Netherlands. She studied fine arts (MFA) at the Academy of Fine Arts in Lodz and Interactive Design Unstable Media (BA) at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam. Since 2015 she has been working in the artist collective BetweenTwoHands with the Dutch artist Erin Tjin A Ton.

About BetweenTwoHands

BetweenTwoHands is an artist collective, comprising the visual artists Erin Tjin A Ton (NL, 1985) and Gosia Kaczmarek (PL, 1981) and is expanded with third parties for each project. Erin and Gosia share a studio in Amsterdam and graduated from the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam.  

Our work can best be described as post-dramatic object theatre with performers functioning as technicians who serve the objects. We make figurative objects from various materials and of different sizes, which we bring to life by means of manual manipulation or self-constructed mechanisms. Unlike traditional object theatre, we work without a script and we prefer to work on-site. Within our work, we are searching for an art form where the spectator can participate in the work both physically and mentally.

Theories of Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Peter Paul Verbeek form a theoretical framework around our work. Merleau-Ponty defines phenomenology as a philosophical movement the primary objective of which is to analyze the relationship between humans and the world. In What Things Do: Philosophical Reflections on Technology, Agency and Design, Verbeek describes how our experience of the world is mediated by technological artifacts. Who we are and how we experience the world is largely determined by the objects we surround ourselves with. The importance of the artwork is thus the manner in which it facilitates or makes contact with the observer.