Mise En Abyme - A Performance Lecture by Chicks On Speed
The Bakery Main Space
Review: Alex Wolman
Before seeing Mise En Abyme I did a little background research and noticed that Chicks on Speed had performed at top galleries around the world including MoMA, Centre Pompidou and the Thyssen-Bornesmizsa Musuem of Art.
After seeing their show, I must say that I am very surprised by this.
The performance began with Melissa Logan and Alex Murray-Leslie walking onto the stage in clothing that looked like it had been splattered with paint. Behind them was a semi-naked photo of Kate Moss and all around were strange fluorescent coloured objects.
Logan and Murray-Leslie then proceeded to vigorously shout over each other, while at the same time playing pre-recorded video files.
Occasionally they would drop in quotes by Michel Foucault and other fashionable intellectuals, and at one point, they very vaguely and pretentiously explained how they were "re-defining socio-cultural body centric relations".
On top of this, there were the long periods of, what can only be called "avant-garde silence", which seemed aimless and included for the sole purpose of alienating the audience.
A saving grace was the self-made"Objekt instruments" that Logan and Murray-Leslie played throughout the show. These included a cigar box synthesiser and what looked like a blanket with sewn-on patches that produced harsh distortion sounds when touched. They were visually and technologically interesting, and their physical nature made them invigorating to watch.
It would have been nice to have the significance and/or mechanics of the instruments expounded upon, as they did seem to be the only continuous element tying the show together.
Logan and Murray-Leslie's determination to defy traditional theatre and performance conventions was admirable, but I was continually puzzled as to what the underlying principle of the show was. What was the performance about? What were they dealing with? Why even put on the show?
And then it all ended. A mere 30 minutes and it was all over.Mes En Abyme was on January 29.
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