Works

The NarcoSexuals

Scrolling through their phones they go in search of sex, sex like they’ve never had before, sex beyond the imaginable. Horny and determined they get on their bikes, a phial of GHB or a bag of 3mmc or something in their pockets. Disobeying the request for social distancing, giving the health cult the finger, rebelling against the loneliness that is lurking all the time. They meet on a couch in a random living room somewhere in town. They snuggle up, they talk and talk, they fuck each other to kingdom come, sometimes they faint, in each other’s arms, they take care of each other. Meet: The NarcoSexuals.

In his latest work, Dries investigates the ins and outs of sexual drug use, a phenomenon that is gaining popularity especially among gay men. Forty years after the start of the gay liberation, we’re entering a ‘narco-sexual revolution’, even though this current liberation is invisible to the outside world. What pushes people to even risk their own lives? How different are they allowed to be?

Visitors enter the site, can walk around and decide for themselves how long they want to stay and experience the work.

Cinema a Luci Rosse
Parallel to The NarcoSexuals, Dries Verhoeven and Sergio Rigoletto are screening a film programme in Frascati 3 around the subversive gay film. In a collection of short films and clips, they investigate the unease that surrounds the representation of intimacy between men.

Scrolling through their phones they go in search of sex, sex like they’ve never had before, sex beyond the imaginable. Horny and determined they get on their bikes, a phial of GHB or a bag of 3mmc or something in their pockets. Disobeying the request for social distancing, giving the health cult the finger, rebelling against the loneliness that is lurking all the time. They meet on a couch in a random living room somewhere in town. They snuggle up, they talk and talk, they fuck each other to kingdom come, sometimes they faint, in each other’s arms, they take care of each other. Meet: The NarcoSexuals.

In his latest work, Dries investigates the ins and outs of sexual drug use, a phenomenon that is gaining popularity especially among gay men. Forty years after the start of the gay liberation, we’re entering a ‘narco-sexual revolution’, even though this current liberation is invisible to the outside world. What pushes people to even risk their own lives? How different are they allowed to be?

Visitors enter the site, can walk around and decide for themselves how long they want to stay and experience the work.

Cinema a Luci Rosse
Parallel to The NarcoSexuals, Dries Verhoeven and Sergio Rigoletto are screening a film programme in Frascati 3 around the subversive gay film. In a collection of short films and clips, they investigate the unease that surrounds the representation of intimacy between men.

Video

Press

The installation constantly confronts you ingeniously with your own prejudices. In this case, you don't need drugs to have ecstatic sex, do you? Doesn't that need indicate an inner emptiness and fear of true intimacy? But the longer you look, and the more you catch yourself with your own fascination and voyeurism, the more confusing it becomes.

Herien Wensink in de Volkskrant (16 May 2022)Read the review (in Dutch)

The new installation by Dries Verhoeven looks more theatrical and dramatic than I am used to in his work. Swaying between a peepshow and the re-enactment of Grindr sex date, a wonderful game of looking inside and out arises.

Fransien van der Putt in Theaterkrant (13 May 2022)Read the review (in Dutch)

Verhoeven wants to start a public conversation with The NarcoSexuals about the meaning of chemsex, sex under the influence of drugs, a phenomenon that is especially popular among gay men. But his intentions are broader: he also wants to talk about the relationship between lust and intimacy, and about the fact that where the gay movement used to want to be visible, the chemsex scene flourishes mainly in secret.

Hein Janssen (de Volkskrant) visited Dries Verhoeven in the Studio in Almere and interviewed him during the preparations for The NarcoSexuals (12 May 2022)Read the interview (in Dutch)

The NarcoSexuals is at the same time liberating and uncomfortable in the way it makes taboos transparent.

Sander Janssens in NRC (14 May 2022)Read the article (in Dutch)

"You can look at an uncomfortable and at the same time attractive world. Of course, you don't have to do anything. You can stay at a safe distance. But you can also peek in through the toilet window all day – the performance lasts six hours. You are welcome everywhere; whatever curtains you encounter, you can see through them."

An interview by Jowi Schmitz (Trouw) with Dries Verhoeven during the rehearsals of The NarcoSexuals (12 May 2022)Read the interview (in Dutch)

Verhoeven saw chemsex take off during corona. "The many restrictions had a different effect on families than on single gay men who already have a history of restrictions." There are no restrictions in the reconstructed (performance) house.

Lorianne van Gelder (Het Parool) interviewed Dries Verhoeven during the making process of The NarcoSexuals (10 May 2022)Read the interview (in Dutch)

Cinema a Luci Rosse

Parallel to The NarcoSexuals in Amsterdam Dries Verhoeven and Sergio Rigoletto are screening a film programme in Frascati 3 around the subversive gay film. In a collection of short films and clips, they investigate the unease that surrounds the representation of intimacy between men.

The days of disruptive eroticism in clandestine cineamas are gone. These days, there seem to be two predominant ways of depicting male lust: explicit, in-your-face sex for porn-lovers; or the sanitised, romantic version, for well-intentioned heterosexual audiences. The extremity of the internet and the increasing prudishness of the public domain keep one another in balance. Verhoeven and Rigoletto dive into the history of film in search of something different: films that subtly fiddle with dominant morality or good taste. Films that challenge the aesthetics of desire or push social boundaries. Can we still see – as Pasolini put it – the political significance of a big cock on the big screen?

  • When purchasing tickets for The NarcoSexuals, you can add tickets to Cinema a Luci Rosse for free.
  • Open from 8:00 P.M. Visitors can stay as long as they like.
  • Entrance through the alley next to Frascati Café.

Credits

concept: Dries Verhoeven
performance: Bráulio Bandeira, Matteo Bifulco, Tamar Blom, Vincent Clavaguera, Wojciech Grudziński, Estefano Romani, Barnaby Savage
understudies: Mher Brutyan, Victor Mendes
movement material developed in collaboration with the performers
sound design: Thijs van Vuure
dramaturgy: Hella Godee & Miguel Melgares
assistance: Marte Boneschansker
internship text/direction: Hendrik de Pecker
technique: Roel Evenhuis, Peer Thielen
set dresser: Eveline Didderen
production: ‘n More – Ellen van Bunnik, Lise van den Hout, Thijs de Bruijn, Jitske Weijand
internship production: Maaike Postma
extras Utrecht: Oliver Wagstaff, Lisanne Pol, Rafael Matt, Sasa Hara, Marie Clavaguera, August Geerlings, Jannes van Arkel, Marvin Staal, Gwen de Visser, Marco Franssen
extras Den Bosch: Monique van den Boomen, Tom Seebregts, Liesbeth Verstegen, Marina Kopier, Suzanne Schoenmakers, Anita Witteveen, Nancy Frederiks, Oliver Wagstaff
a production by: Studio Dries Verhoeven