Cie 111 / Phil Soltanoff, More or Less Infinity

Review in Issue 18-2 | Summer 2006

We were eased into this year’s Mime Festival with a gentle foray into Cie 111’s ‘digitised’ world of abstract shape and surreal vignettes. The last of a trio of explorations of spatial concepts, and the first co-production for LIMF, have resulted in a soothing experience reminiscent of late nights in front of Ceefax listening to Brian Eno (don’t ask).

From all four sides of the theatre space emerge line upon line: white lines, short lines, the bendy line and the human body’s lines. From one of the five slices in the floor emerges a disembodied arm, an organic collection of straight and bendy lines; then a disembodied head; soon to be joined by a headless body. In this moment, there is a sense of the incisions that computers can make into our physical being. Soon lines extend, contract and bend under the influence of the performers’ actions. The piece is something of a trip into the past of digital experience, including a fantastic game of Pong with two human bodies as computer joysticks.

Many of the images are reminiscent of the early 1980s experimentation with video, and the same cyborg quality pervades the performers’ bodies as they glide in and out of the stage space on small ‘trucks’ mounted in the grooves of the stage.

It all strikes me as reminiscent of a piece of advice I was once given about drawing: focus not on drawing the object but drawing the lines that make up the object. Here then is a striking drawing in time, composed of a variety of lines, both spatial and musical. A drawing where the inanimate lines seem more alive than the soft tissue of the human bodies. A delicious confusion of solidity and plasticity.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Jan 2006

This article in the magazine

Issue 18-2
p. 26