Live Art Forum South West, Three Minute Warning

Review in Issue 16-1 | Spring 2004

Twenty-one three-minute showcase pieces of live and video art hosted by Live Art Forum South West and Exeter Phoenix, performance with a channel changer, this was a consistently fascinating affair – only occasionally despite the pieces.

Acts of bubblegum-blowing, song title-reciting and apologising to a mirror all uneasily sought an elusive simplicity. Schroom Onstage began with banal actions like warm-up exercises, but grew into a virtuoso finale – some of the younger performers were in a positive feedback loop of learning/performing. But over-egged poetry and over-illustrative movement tripped up the promise of Wearing a Dead Man's Suit and Pete, Neil and Emma respectively. A powerful text in ABC's The Story of the Chinese Roll was over-illustrated and intrusively delivered.

There were two fine video pieces: Chris O'Connor's Beyond The Pale détourning Rugby World Cup footage to explore Irish/English (dis)connections and Oliver Lamb's Trafalgar Square piece in which he walked in a circular cloud of pigeons.

There was a distinct contrast between the hyperactivity of the younger artists and the calm of the more experienced – Tom Marshman and Alex Bradley performed a temperate exchange of letters across a dual flow of traffic, Dee Heddon made gently funny action paintings with vitamin C tablets – a live art Hannah Gordon – and performed a spectacular ritual with Stephen Hodge, Table Piece No. 31, which video-evoked the nearby Freemasons Hall. Cathy Turner's tangibly speaking to us through walls was echoed physically in Daniel Oliver's running out into the streets, our proxy, as the third part of his engaging miniature epic on transformation.

Thorson ended the evening with a charmingly arch lecture, incorporating some pseudo-geometry from Joseph Beuys, a little (doubtful) autobiography, costume absurdity, reverse-Gnosticism and a fake-postmodern inconclusion.

This article in the magazine

Issue 16-1
p. 28 - 29