Thomas studied biology and philosophy at the KUL and dramatic art at drama school Dora van der Groen. Thomas’ work balances on the borders of theatre, dance and installation. In his recent productions, he explores the dramatic possibilities of everyday actions. His work has been described as poetic, radical, expressive and ritualistic. As a freelance actor, he regularly works for theatre, film and television.
Photo: Roeltje van de Sande Bakhuyzen
According to Jewish legends, a golem is a creature moulded from dust or clay by a scholar and brought to life by ritual incantations. The golem relates to its human creator as a helper, companion or protector of its threatened community. But the experiment is derailed: the creature turns against its creator. This myth of artificial life lies at the heart of Thomas Ryckewaert’s new creation. It is a story about ambition, creativity, power, creation, madness and destruction. It is a theme that touches on the age-old fear of creating something that outwits us: from the Bible about Frankenstein to the spectre of artificial intelligence. It is a story that asks the same question in every era: how deep can we dig?
In hushed, cinematic imagery, Golem balances on the thin line between man and matter, between reason and fear. Face to face with a creature that looks very much like him but is at the same time fundamentally different, man is shown a mirror. He sees monsters being born in things, in the other, in himself.