Not enough versus too too much: Mette Ingvartsen and Ivo Dimchev
So, a performer succeeds in catching your attention. You watch the effort he or she puts into that performance and you admire his or her devotion (see preview post here). Then I have another question for you: when do you feel satisfied? When do you think that you’ve been offered enough? I had to think of that when my brain started linking and comparing two totally different experiences, during Kaaitheater‘s Performatik festival: Mette Ingvartsen‘s & Guillem Mont de Palol’s new performance All the way out there and Ivo Dimchev‘s (yes, him again) We.art.dog.come.
A screamfest. There’s no better word to describe All the way out there, the new performance by Mont De Palol and Ingvartsen (don’t get confused: yes, there’s a Mette Ingvartsen and a Mette Edvardsen). Although they don’t start screaming right away. First of all you see both performers on a big video screen, walking and climbing, in some sort of desolate Far West landscape, both of them strangely sunburnt. When he shouts, you hear nothing.
Then both performers walk on stage and they do start yelling; exhilarated and wild, or controlled. During All the way out there they hunt for intense physical expressions. They steer from extreme fanaticism to simple enthusiasm or joy. And along the way they want to show you how real human expressions can be transformed to surprising artifacts. You do wonder, with that strange reddish paint all over their bodies: are they human or not?
The last part of the performance puts them back in the desert and on that video screen again. They continue their screamfest, and this time around, you do hear their voices. But it feels as if a dj is messing around with image and sound: he scratches with the sound of their voices. Back and forth, and from one fragment to the next. Nothing wrong with all of this, and it’s funny to see Ingvartsen discover some gold somewhere along the way, but nevertheless: I felt as if more could have been gotten out of the ideas and thoughts leading to this performance.
Whereas I had the impression that Ingvartsen was talking to my brain, than it felt as if Dimchev was slapping me in the face with the surreal turns his performance We.art.dog.com took. As if I had bought a ticket for a haunted house where Monty Python, Jérôme Bel and David Lynch live together. Dimchev wants to talk about things such as God, nature and subjective reality, but it doesn’t take long before you sense that he got lost along the way. Something he does admit himself: ‘I got lost in all these questions, in a nice way, so all I had to do was just make a performance about it. I also wanted to make a piece that is not so clear. I wanted people to not really get why it is the way it is.’
There’s a dog, a tv, African masks, some plants, six black dolls with licence plates, Dimchev (once again) puts on a wig and starts singing, and then a guy walks on stage in his underwear and imitates a display of fireworks with his voice. It’s funny and it’s surreal. It doesn’t make sense and in some strange way it does. Like those dreams that combine the weirdest of images but nevertheless haunt you afterwards.
After the first performance I went home feeling unsatisfied, after the second one my head was still dizzy the day after. Was it just a question of taste? The straight-forward, cerebral approach of Ingvartsen against the wild, anything goes, approach of Dimchev? Or was it: not enough versus too too much?