Welcome to Campfire’s ‘SUBJECT’: The depths of humanity in unimaginable circumstances

Welcome to Campfire's 'SUBJECT'. Photo by Nir Arieli.
Welcome to Campfire's 'SUBJECT'. Photo by Nir Arieli.

Memredux Laboratories, New York, NY. 
November 9, 2021.

In SUBJECT, produced by Welcome to Campfire, sparse, concrete space surrounds a brightly fluorescent lit glass-walled room. Two identically dressed test “subjects” enter, and one sits on the lone metal chair in the center. The sound of a soothing, yet commanding voice directs the subjects to do certain tasks, and they comply – for a time. What follows is an exploration of what might happen when the dystopian future arrives and medicine advances to a point when humans can customize how they live in that world.

Welcome to Campfire's 'SUBJECT'. Photo by Nir Arieli.
Welcome to Campfire’s ‘SUBJECT’. Photo by Nir Arieli.

Enter into the minds Ingrid Kapteyn and Tony Bordonaro (both Sleep No More alumni), a duo who create immersive dance and theater installations exploring the depths of humanity in unimaginable circumstances. In this show, the subjects underwent a medical procedure to select the memories they wished to keep and had the others eradicated forever. Their meeting in the glass-walled room is the first human interaction they’ve each had since completing the process.

Compulsory at first, the movement quality changes to become more intertwined as the piece progresses. It eventually begs the question if these two subjects had a history together, if they chose to remember it, or if they had been strangers all along. Of course, the audience never finds out the answer and are left contemplating the nature of our own selective memories and how they affect our lives.

Presented by Welcome to Campfire, in collaboration with Lia Menaker and Chemistry Creative, Memredux Laboratories lived in a 9.2K square foot space in NYC’s theater district and ran from October 23-November 10. 

Visit for more information about this and other productions. 

By Emily Sarkissian of Dance Informa. 

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