documentary performance / Maxime Berthou, Davis Freeman, Mark Požlep

»Fuck Huckleberry Finn and Mark Twain. The romance will be over by the end of the trip, I promise.«


12. May 2022 /Gledališče Glej /

premiera / Glej, in English / performans je v angleščini s  slovenskim prevodom


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About the Performance

A steamer built from scratch, all 3,730 kilometres of the Mississippi river and two European artists in the heart of the United States. In a cinematographical essay Maxime Berthou and Mark Požlep are taking us along on the two-month journey along the mythical river they took in 2019. We see the people they met and the brutal nature of everyday life in the towns along the Mississippi. Communities ravaged by poverty, bad health caused by toxic industrial pollution, and racial inequality. 

Documentary performance is supplemented by a live performance by American actor Davis Freeman. With the essay Mark and Max propose to the audience their view of the Mississippi river and portrait of the US, with the performance they give the voice back to the other side as a right to reply. 

* Due to use of strong light effects we do not reccommend a visit by people with epilepsy or heart diseases. 


Created by: Maxime Berthou, Davis Freeman, Mark Požlep
Performer: Davis Freeman

Light Design: Grega Mohorčič
Sound: Julien Jabre, Gašper Piano
Technical Supervision: Grega Mohorčič
Technical Support: Brina Ivanetič, Žan Rantaša, Klemen Švikart

Graphic Design: Grupa Ee / Mina Fina, Ivian Kan Mujezinović
Glej, Paper Editor: Tery Žeželj
Public Relations: Tjaša Pureber

Executive Production: Barbara Poček
Produced by Glej Theatre
Co-Production: SPRING Utrecht, Forceps Media
Supported by: Ministry of Culture Slovenia, Municipality of Ljubljana, InSzPer - Performing Arts Institute, Nau Ivanow, HISK, Javni sklad za kulturne dejavnosti  

Project was part of the Crushing Borders programme.

Southwind documentary performance is part of the ongoing project SOUTHWIND by Maxime Berthou and Mark Požlep.

*Performance is in English with Slovenian surtitles, film is in English with Slovenian subtitles. 

More about the Southwind project

SOUTHWIND follows the chronology of the project in movement, translating it into an archive of personal experiences, oral histories, transcripts, and disproportionate production mechanisms. Practice-based research builds on a unique artistic methodology of durational performance that Požlep and Berthou has been developing for almost a decade - building from adventures as forms of durational performances, and turning them into different mediums, from visual to cinematographic and performative arts. More information about the project.  


Guest Performances and Festivals

SPRING Utrecht, May 19 and 20, 2022. Utrecht, Netherlands.  

Toplocentrala, September 2, 2022. Sofia, Bulgaria. 


Glej, Paper: SOUTHWIND

Neodvisni: “Storytelling” without agenda
"Despite the ethnographic intentions of Požlep’s recent projects, which he - along with his informants - often creates in collaboration with French artist Maxime Berthou, one of the qualities of his work is that they are unpretentious and their presentation on the level of exhibitions or performance (which are usually connected) is anything but patronizing or pedagogic, as is often the case in contemporary art."  

Delo: Review - Southwind
"Besides questioning the conditions on the Mississippi river, the performance  successfully reflects on the position of documentary art. With a distinctly documentary first part and the artistic interpretation in the second, the event rises above the level of first order information while at the same time keeping the elements of the documentary, which makes art-based research specific and interesting."

Radio Študent: America is watching
"Gazing into the gaps between words and actions that weave the American social network, full of contradictions we do not only see them, we also feel them. Freeman embodies the characters with distinctly extroverted rapture. While staring into our eyes the performer floods us with waves of emotion. . We don’t have the luxury of the fourth wall to protect us as uninvolved observers  Quite the opposite - all of our European prejudice and stereotypes are pulled apart as we are forced to understand the characters, their social conditioning and contradictions, that shape them."

Portal Kritika: People of the river
"Multidisciplinary of their performative practice allows them to give free way to the research, which guarantees them an unique result."

Megafon: Rediscovering  America
"The search for  corn turned into anthropological research.
Observing the flora and fauna of the Mississippi river, centered around its most interesting part - the human, shaped the voyage with stories written by life."