Iepe Rubingh is a Berlin-based, Dutch performance/visual artist whose last foray into filmmaking involved designing a large-scale installation for Tom Tykwer’s cinematic love triangle “3”. (Tykwer, along with the Wachowski siblings, is also one of the forces behind the long-awaited adaptation of David Mitchell’s “Cloud Atlas,” premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival later this month.)
And like a character left on the cutting room floor of “Run Lola Run,” Rubingh himself happens to be the founder of the World Chess Boxing Organization, a real fight club that sprang from fiction – in this case from the French graphic novel “Froid Équateur” by Enki Bilal. In what might be the ultimate gladiator showdown, chess boxing alternates four-minute chess rounds with three-minute rounds of boxing – with only one-minute breaks in between – until a winner is declared via checkmate, knockout or a decision by the judges after eleven rounds. Since its debut in 2003 the WCBO has expanded internationally and now includes branches from Siberia to LA. I caught up with the current light heavyweight champ Iepe “The Joker” at the bustling café of De Balie, a massive cultural center in the heart of Amsterdam.
To read my interview visit Global Comment.