Photos – Sarah Walker
An extraordinary work from the original and fearless Nicola Gunn, Piece for Person and Ghetto Blaster invites the audience to consider a moral dilemma and her response to it.
We can act but are our actions ever innocent? In this rigorous consideration of action and motivation in a story about a man, a duck and 'herself,' Gunn moves about constantly on stage, creating a seemingly random physical counter-action to her words. Sometimes she moves like a marionette, sometime it looks as though she’s practicing Emotional Freedom Technique tapping, at others she's doing a warm-up, a stretch or a cool down.
Choreographer Jo Lloyd collaborated with Gunn to make Piece for Person and Ghetto Blaster, creating an agitation of a performance accompanying the monologue, a relentless exasperating activity, almost a St Vitus dance of a work which nearly tires the audience. Eventually art, beauty and the duck take over and the final segment of the piece comprises a splendid visual image and a calm descent into the wordless.
A wonderfully resolved work, Piece for Person and Ghetto Blaster is Gunn’s attempt ‘to exhaust language and exhaust herself.’ The lighting in the end segment is very beautiful and bold, creating stripes of warm colour and splendor. There’s a lot of humour in the piece, as we’ve come to expect from Gunn, including a gentle dig at performance artist Marina Abramovic, with whom Gunn briefly worked.
Essentially this work is a physicalisation of a dilemma – it illustrates how we go round and round in our minds trying to work something out. The show itself moves beyond words at the end to become Art with a capital A. Relativism ultimately must give way to art. In a very Leunig vein you are left with an homage to the beauty of a duck, something which needs no embellishment nor does it need to be put into words.
The original musical soundscape to the piece is by Kelly Ryan.
Arts House and Mobile States present
Piece for Person and Ghetto Blaster
Nicola Gunn/Sans Hotel
Venue: North Melbourne Town Hall, 521 Queensberry Street, North Melbourne
Dates: 11 – 15 November 2015
Tickets: $30 – $15
Bookings: artshouse.com.au | (03) 9322 3713