The hidden force (De stille kracht) is a visionary novel that places western culture opposite eastern culture as being irreconcilable. The powerful Dutch colonizer is unable to deal with the hidden force that is present in the background and is slowly causing damage. The Western man dominates and controls, but turns out to be unable to get to the core of the East and conquer the culture of the Indies. What is left is a powerless western man in the Indonesian forest.
The hidden force was created in the Ruhrtriënnale. It's a play based on a novel from Couperus. During the next two years, Ivo van Hove will be bringing two other novels by Couperus to the stage.