Monday 22nd February
Hallé St. Michael's, 19:30-22:00
Ritual I :: Commitment :: BiiM (2011)
Live Guy Dead Guy (2019)
Darren Gallacher (snare drum, Jessie Marino)
Arco (Neil Luck): Adam de la Cour (son/corpse), Chihiro Ono (mother/violin), Benedict Taylor (father/viola), Neil Luck (medium)
+ next-day coffee-shop talk
Dedicating our time to someone or something is a clear measure of commitment. Devotion - religious, romantic or otherwise - may be one of our few means left to impart humanity onto this dying world.
Two video works form the anchor points for this programme. The first is a punch to the gut - Sonja Mutić’s ‘sh[out]’ sees romantic devotion crumble as language itself fails to comprehend heartbreak and emotional trauma. The second is Chino Amobi’s ‘ILLUMINAZIONI’, blending corporate iconography, first-person-shooter VFX, American nationalism and the devotional music of Arvo Pärt, the mise-en-scene silhouetting our unwitting and intangible relationship with the powers that be.
From these core ideas, performances shall spill. The tropes of the romantic power ballad are siphoned through one snare drum to dizzying effect in Jessie Marino’s brief but emphatic 'Ritual I :: Commitment :: BiiM', performed here by emerging new-music star Darren Gallacher. In stark contrast, Huddersfield's Ryoko Akama improvises with the hums and buzzings of discarded, everyday items - items with wasted time - as she devotes herself to their sonic minutae.
We end with London-based performance group Arco and Neil Luck in a performance of the music-theatre mess-terpiece 'Live Guy Dead Guy'. A prodigal son returns home to his antiquated parents with his self-created digital avatar fiancé, asking for their blessing to leave his physical body in an act of suicide. As the performance unfolds, the clumsiness of digital communication and the ridiculousness of devotion are unflinchlingly brought to life.