The Cosmic Meaning Illusion is a performance created as part of Jana’s PhD research in Philosophy at the University of Ghent, about the 17th century English discussion on the ‘decay’ of nature and her possible end. People at the time expressed a belief that was very widespread in Western Europe: the belief that nature was ill, dying, and that the end was near. Indeed, the signs were clear: floods, pests, failed harvests, diseases, ice-cold winters (think of those Breughel paintings, the famous winter landscapes: the sun was really diminishing).
For this performance Jana began a collaboration with Ferre Vuye. Together they wrote a text, giving shape to someone who, in long monologues and dialogues with a fountain in his garden, gets lost in a search for the meaning of the state of nature as he experiences it. Questions at stake are the promise and also the danger of this search for meaning, or the fact that since Adam’s fall it has been dominated by a specific kind of human, burdened with guilt, longing for paradise.
The collaboration extended to Carly Rae Heathcote, who co-directed and designed the performance, and Sophia Bauer, who gave voice to the fountain on stage