And who could blame them, because the first performance of the night penetrated your comfort zone like a shot. The duo O, Kutjes, dressed in school uniforms with pleated skirts that left little to the imagination, turned out to be less innocent that you would have thought at first glance. When the first electronic notes blared through the sitting room, they descended on the somewhat dazed audience and started shaking, pushing and pulling. They made grateful use of the confusion that ensued. In the tight space, practically no one was spared: one person was pushed up against a wall while another was kindly invited to kiss the bulky backside of the pleated skirt. And all this while O, Kutjes scream lyrics like: “Don’t be gentle; I need to be taught a lesson!”
When the show was over, and everyone had been thoroughly pushed around the room, the girls asked for money. The listeners didn’t seem to understand: hadn’t they already paid the equivalent of six beers for a festival ticket? Finally, the host, Nick, was convinced and offered a five-euro bill. That turned out to be enough as the O, Kutjes took their pink thongs off from under their pleated skirts and placed them on the bewildered host’s head.
Sex talk with Eva and a birthday suit
There was no time to recover, because the second round act was already waiting in the next student flat. “I’m reminded of a slut, no one does it better in bed!” The students’ faces – that had barely started thawing from the freezing cold outside – blushed red again. Rob and Eva of Firma Vruchtvlees took their public on ‘a journey that is seldom spoken about’ in the student flat on the de ‘s-Gravendijkwal.
What followed was a series of lectures featuring ‘naughty’ literature, humorous skits, and a string of sex-related ‘did you know?’ facts. A mini lecture taught us that the first pornography film was made in 1896 and lasted seven minutes, that sex boosts academic performance, and that the only drawback to sex on the beach is that your ‘cock will feel like sandpaper’.
The performance artists, wearing birthday suits (with a zipper from crotch to chin), argued that we need to talk a lot more about sex. Where the physical approach used by O, Kutjes was met with resistance by the students, they were strangely compliant with Firma Vruchtvlees. So much so that all 15 students sat holding hands in a circle while Rob sealed the union of their hands with big globs of lubricant.
Paula Alvala dances with her mirror image
From grinding in pleated skirts worn with no underwear to an erotic journey ending with a greasy fist covered in lubricating jelly, it wouldn’t have been a surprise to encounter an act in the third student flat that was a true example of self-expression. And that turned out to be the case. However, it was an act that didn’t involve removing any clothing nor fantasising about passionate sex.
While the Brazilian acrobat Paula Alvala put on her make-up in front of a large mirror located in the centre of the room, a member of the audience read words Paula has written. “The case is that I can’t experience an orgasm, looking at someone else’s eyes,” was read aloud while Paula stared into the mirror. During the subsequent intermezzo where a popcorn machine was projected onto the kitchen tiles, the sexual revelation that followed creates an uneasy silence. The silence was interrupted when a student who had been gazing out the window remarked that a girl was dancing on the empty lot next to the student flat.
It was Paula. While everyone had been reflecting on her self-contemplation, she had quietly stolen out of the room unobserved. She capered on the concrete in a white dress. She hung upside-down from the steel goalpost crossbar with her legs behind her neck. The students thronged to the window, pressing their noses to the glass. From their warm, safe student flat, they were witness to Paula baring herself in the cold February night.
Stukafest 2018 provoked, tickled and seduced, and now it’s the students’ turn to do the same.