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Even Better Than The Real Thing

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A trial is about the uncovering the truth or reality. This reality is testified to by people who have apparently experienced it. They are the witnesses. The witness has to be credible otherwise no “real”/ reliable reality can be produced. The production of reality relies on the assumption of a stable and consistent identity of the witness.

Acting is a form of reality production. An actor has been taught how to create different emotions on stage, how to be credible, how to take on a character/ become someone else; create the illusion of reality.In an audition, an actor has to present himself. He has to talk about himself and has to show how he can transition into another character. The audition is therefore a mix between self-documentation and creation of an illusion. But the boundaries are not clear, the most important goal of an actor is to convince. He/she is an expert of manipulation.

The Bhawal case was an extended Indian court case about a possible impostor who claimed to be the prince of Bhawal, who was presumed dead a decade earlier. My project layers this trial with an audition using the framework of a game to consider being yourself and being someone else and where telling the truth and faking dissolve into each other and become indistinguishable.

*You can read Zuleikha’s Residency Report here


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