The Ten Murders of Josephine

Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art is proud to present the premiere of The Ten Murders of Josephine by artist Rana Hamadeh accompanying her exhibition, on view until 31 December 2017. This is the frst manifestation of Hamadeh’s operatic project, which will be continually developed across 2018.

The Ten Murders of Josephine is an operatic project by artist Rana Hamadeh, structured through several evolving iterations. The theatrical production takes place alongside the concurrent exhibition at Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art of the same name (curated by Defne Ayas and Natasha Hoare), which functioned as the ‘factory’ and ‘assembly line’ for the operatic project, and was preceded by a study group.

Inherited from the genre of ‘legal spectacle’, and from Hamadeh’s earlier claims regarding “justice as the measure to which one can access theater”, The Ten Murders of Josephine explores the constitutive conditions of testimony and valid speech vis-à-vis the notion of ‘testimonial subject-hood’. Hamadeh proposes a distinction between the two. While she understands the notion of ‘testimony’ as a form of rational utterance that is necessarily tied to the workings of a tribunal, her activation of the ‘testimonial’ attunes to all that is irrational; unspoken and unspeakable; unmarked and unmarkable. Hamadeh approaches the notion of the ‘testimonial’ as pointing to an ‘erased archive of colonial / racial / patriarchal / corporate / state-sponsored etc. erasure’; a violence not attended to, which materializes – phonically – as a monument to absent speech. How can this phonic materiality of absent speech become the organizing principle of subjecthood? What would it require to constitute oneself, or to emerge, thus, as a testimonial subject? And what would it mean to constitute oneself as a testimonial subject not only outside the bounds of the court of law, but even further, in place of the legal subject? Loosely based on Kafka’s mouse songstress, The Ten Murders of Josephine engenders new modalities of readership and spectatorship, and tests performative dynamics of theatrical production.


Director & Composer Rana Hamadeh
Assistant Director Gerty Van de Perre

Performers | Vocalists

Claudio Ritfeld, Gerrie de Vries, Mad Kate, Rana Hamadeh, Doortje Peters, Lisa Chudalla

Creative Team

Sound Co-Designer / Co - Composer & Light Designer Jorg Schellekens
Programmer of Live Sound Processes, Foley Artist & Piano Software Engineer Arthur Sauer
Creative Producer Maaike Gouwenberg
Advisor to the director, Coordination & Research Rik Fernhout
Associate Producers Patrick C. Haas, Rosa de Graaf
Live Sound Processes & Night Club Scene Designer Adrienne Teicher
Telephone System Designer rad0van misovic
Organbook Text-to-Midi Translation André Castro
Set Designer Paul van Gennip
Costume Designer Angelica Falking
Technical Coordinator Aram Visser
Sound Technician Marcel Brand
Decap Company Disklavier & Organbook
Graphic Design for cover playbill, originally designed for lightbox Jungeun Lee

The Ten Murders of Josephine is commissioned by Defne Ayas on behalf of Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art.

Special thanks

Team Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Tanja Elstgeest, Rik Fernhout, Kate McDonough, Omar Berrada, Danielle Gallegos, Lila Athenasladova, WG Theatertechniek, Huub Krom / Oorbit Studio, Studio Santeboutique, Francois Quintin, Hicham Khalidi, Sisters in Crime study group, Clara J:son Borg, Willem de Kooning Fabric Station, Dima Hamadeh, Tony Decap

Commissioned by: Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art
Co-produced by: A.P.E (Art Projects Era), Productiehuis Theater Rotterdam
With thanks to: In4Art Collection, Lafayette Anticipation - Fondations d’entreprise Galeries Lafayette

[figure the_ten_murders_of_josephine_trailer]



Supported By

the Arab Fund For Arts and Culture – AFAC, Fonds 21, Gemeente Rotterdam, Mondriaan Fund, Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds

Related Items