Joan Baixas, Dopamine Suite

Review in Issue 16-1 | Spring 2004

As Spanish guitar music fades to silence, we see an alchemist’s playroom. Hearing birdsong, we glimpse a projected child’s face on a hand-held piece of paper – making visible an invisible spirit. Joan Baixas paints with earth and water and says he will not have the ritual of theatre. We can leave on our mobile phones, eat and talk. This will be our meeting place – like a visit to an artist’s studio. He dances a hand-held candle dance. The ground-bound membrane is hoisted to where we meet with his earth-painted images, his shadow dancing the physicality of his work. It’s about images, words, sounds, it’s about memory, about being together. Earth made from the ashes of 3000 people from a war zone. A dialogue with images, like note paper doodles scrawled and sprawled on a 10x14 feet scale. Blue sea is sprayed away to reveal a projected image of a sleeping person. Some images come from the moment, some from the place, some are carried from space to space.

It’s a beautiful show. The audience applaud in places. Yet the earth wore thin for me as many of the ‘spontaneous’ images I’d already seen and the ‘impromptu’ relaxed banter I’d heard before in Joan’s previous show Terra Prayada – this repetition raised that very question of ‘theatricality’. Dopamine Suite was I’m sure glorious for the first time viewer – yet for me, with the repetition of stories and images but without the warmth and persona of live song that had accompanied that earlier show, it seemed second-best.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Jan 2004

This article in the magazine

Issue 16-1
p. 25