Typically, when artists are described as 'giving their all', it conjures images of a brutal, vulnerable harrowing experience. A form of sacrifice.
MDLSX found Italian theatre company Motus and, specifically, performer/creative Silvia Calderoni pouring their everything into a singular work. But, while undeniably confronting and complex at times, MDLSX isn't a gruelling or exhausting experience. It's illuminating and energising. Personable.
A beautiful, contained collage of audiovisual stimuli, the work tells a loose narrative of a child negotiating their complicated gender identity. Drawing from Jeffrey Eugenides' Intersex, Calderoni's own upbringing (her family videos feature prominently) and an eclectic mixtape of indie tunes, it's a work that deliberately confounds an audience's sense of veracity – equipped with the uncomfortable honesty and awkward self-reflection of autobiography but with enough shifting details and questions to hint to the fiction of the piece.
It's difficult to write about in that it's hard to say anything other than it was effectively perfect. Not perfect in the sense that anyone would enjoy it. (The use of subtitles throughout would be enough to deter far too many prospective audiences.) But, perfect in the sense of a vision that could not be more cleanly articulated. To change anything about the work would detract from its eerie, quirky humanity and bracing unpredictability. Einstein believed that a complex idea should be communicated as simply as possible – but no simpler. MDLSX is a work built in that intersection.
That said, given both the formal innovation and thematic complexity of the work, it's inimitable elegance could actually qualify as a form of small miracle.
Venue: Carriageworks | 245 Wilson St Eveleigh NSW
Dates: 16 – 18 March 2017