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Bill Viola: Three Women

The Parish Church of St Cuthbert until September 1st Four stars
On a rectangular screen that might be mistaken for a mirror, a woman and her two daughters walk slowly towards the camera in silence. As they walk, these three graces occupy a fuzzy greyness that makes them appear like classicist statues come to life as sylph-like sirens. Once they step through some kind of waterfall, the rush of water gives them life, and they stand in vivid colour, their dresses blue and white. They peer out a moment, only to turn back into the greyness, the youngest daughter lingering like Orpheus for one last look until she too steps back in line towards the underworld.
Part of seminal American video artist Viola’s Transfigurations series, Three Women (2008) is a nine-minute video looped so the trio appear to be destined to repeat their walk for Sisyphean eternity. The fleeting moment of transcendence recalls Breath, Samuel Beckett’s even briefer matter of life and death. The sheer spiritual beauty of th…
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Pussy Riot: Riot Days

Summerhall Five stars
The pink balaclava Maria Alyokhina wears at the start of this ferocious free adaptation of the Russian activist and artist’s urgent memoir that has given this show its title has become a potent totem of resistance that has changed the face of anti-authoritarian activism, possibly forever. This followed Alyokhina’s arrest and imprisonment in 2012 for ‘banal hooiganism’ alongside two of her comrades following an anti-Putin ‘punk prayer’ in a Moscow orthodox church.
Six years on, Pussy Riot continue to invade public consciousness, as they did in the recent World Cup final held in Moscow when members of the collective ran onto the pitch. They continue to fight the power with this fifty-minute music-theatre assault, which puts Alyokhina at the centre of a high-octane collage of electronica, martial drumming and skronky sax. This provides the backdrop to a barrage of archive footage, projected situationist style slogans and righteous declaiming as the onstage quartet tel…

Neu! Reekie! #1 - Michael Rother, Lydia Lunch, Fire Engines, The Honey Farm

Light on the Shore @ Leith Theatre Five stars
A gnomic Michael Rother is sitting in the balcony when Dunbar-based all-female trio The Honey Farm open the first of two nights at Edinburgh International Festival’s Light on the Shore strand curated by Edinburgh’s premiere multi-arts night Neu! Reekie! with a set of potty-mouthed hip-hop. What the veteran pioneer of German kosmiche music makes of them is anybody’s guess, though the entire evening must be pretty bewildering for him. Rother confesses later that the night’s name being inspired by Neu!, the duo he led over three albums in the 1970s alongside drummer Klaus Dinger as being “slightly strange.”
Neu! Reekie! co-founder Kevin Williamson has even learnt German for the occasion. The effect of this as Williamson and fellow mine host Michael Pedersen tag-team their introductions is a little bit Eurovision. With Rother headlining a night that also features New York’s punk spoken-word provocateur Lydia Lunch and the allegedly final reformat…