SEE ME NOW? – A performance that connects one cell into a network of relations

SEE ME NOW is a site-specific project for the former Panopticon Prison in Haarlem.

It was commissioned by Cityscape Foundation as part of the art manifestation “Architectural Healing”.  We were asked to transform the space, to deal with its historic and traumatized past so it could be opened up and used again as a multi-functional centre with art, housing, a new university, recreational and public spaces.

The cupola is one of the three Panopticum-style buildings in the Netherlands. The 224 prison cells are situated around the central cupola that spans over a diameter of 62m. The project “See me now?” zooms in on the building’s specific architectural scope and function – specifically its centrally organized surveillance functionality –  and seeks to revert the mechanism. Who looks at whom? What can I see? But also: How can we act together? To “heal” means for us to re-visit the sore points of the past and to deal with them differently.

The performance starts with the smallest possible unit – one cell –  and looks at ways of setting out communication lines throughout the entire performance. Visual and acoustic patterns connect 224 individual cells to each other and to the panoptical centre point. With See me now? we inverted the power structure of the architecture in a live performance, bringing the personal stories of the prisoners in the centre, magnifying their personal experience, and opening up the rigidity of power dynamics.

Artistic team:

Concept: Ivo Bol and Marion Tränkle
Sound composition: Ivo Bol
Light composition: Marion Tränkle
Performers: Roos van Berkel, Cindy Brussel-Bienemann, Maartje Douwes, Suzana Gomes, Annemarie Libbers, Maria Ines Villasmil
Voice: Florian de Backere
Registration: Eric de Clercq


Cityscape Foundation in collaboration with the Panopticon Foundation

Funded by:

The Dutch Performing Art Fund and Creative Industries Fund NL


09.11.2018 former Panopticon prison in Haarlem