Uninvited Guests, It Is Like it Ought to Be: A Pastoral

Review in Issue 19-1 | Spring 2007

There is a moment early on in this wonderful piece when a cluster of mechanical mono-directional bunnies disperse – an unstoppable and soft diffusion. This is a show of loss, of fragmentation, of evergrowing distances between hope and achievement, aspiration and fear – this is the loss of utopia, dead in history, virulent and alive in ambivalence. Here, it awakes from a pseudo-chumminess of free beer and apple-bobbing into a puritan spasm. It stumbles through near ritual, sweet and unsatisfying, like vomited Coke, its solemnity inevitably empty, but then ‘so mote it be’.

And then it soars. Uninvited Guests find an ambivalent seam of lyricism, leaving behind ‘bittersweet’ in a cloud of unknowing. They scuttle into and then escape the tepee, build layers of electronic farmyard, lie in the sun, settle a New Eden, and entertain themselves with the frisson of normal horrors ‘beyond the hill’: Tesco Metro, not DJ Derek. Everyone must be longing for their ‘garden spot’ and the invitation goes out for all to come. In place of such a march is a rural noodling. In the absence of temple building is an absence of threats and a sipping of tea.

Then the storm: a brown twilight, a terrible eeriness, an apprehension, and the arrival of the monolith, something un-faced has come: ‘I am the stag I nearly collide with.’ The murderer claims victimhood too. People are turned upside down in an apocalypse of half-heartedness: ‘It is like it ought to be, but it is not.’ This is the gentle death of hope sensitively enacted, the squander of utopia, the dissipation of community and ritual. And yet there is a gentle, squandered, dissipated sensibility here; it smells like tomorrow.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Nov 2006

This article in the magazine

Issue 19-1
p. 28