Pelagio, Casio Tone

Review in Issue 15-3 | Autumn 2003

Vibrantly dressed in a green umbrella-hat and blue Wellingtons, astride a white bicycle, the sole character of Domicilla (Nines Gomes) executes a repeated series of rhythmic gestures on her frantic rain-soaked ride home. A toe-tapping sixties electronica soundtrack accompanies this sharply observed and strangely beguiling characterisation.

The main narrative of this surreal and minimalist performance starts when Domicilla enters her two-dimensional domicile: a whiteboard box set, with black marker-pen furniture drawn on its three walls. She goes about her delicately banal evening routine: removing boots to replace them with shoes made out of brushes, ordering food on her elasticated telephone, and cleaning up. Throughout, there is playful and intriguing detail in Gomes’ physicality, drawn from a stock of domestic actions and facial expressions.

A joyful sequence occurs when she sets up and plays a small Casio keyboard, complete with effects pedal, in sync with the soundtrack. The wide eyes, nodding head and bopping knees serve to create a momentary spark of pure delight and joy that opens the heart of this character.

But it is soon gone, interrupted by the arrival of a large package. Inside, a three-dimensional and purposeless lampstand that disrupts her routine floor pattern by stretching from corner to corner. To escape she tries to sleep but in her nightmare we are watched by a one-eyed humanoid that pleadingly reaches towards us.

Her awakening brings a purging of her room, literally wiping away her life and the outside world in an attempt to understand the object which occupies her room. Finally it is her alone, cradling her new found existence in the world, and leaving us slightly adrift in the sea of be/amusement

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. May 2003

This article in the magazine

Issue 15-3
p. 29