Skip to main content

Infinite Jest


Dundee Contemporary Arts until August 26th 2012
4 stars
With a title taken from David Foster Wallace’s footnote-friendly novel, 
going round in circles is the preserve of all three artists in DCA’s 
fun-packed summer special of a show. Where the videos of Brazilian 
interventionist Cinthia Marcelle subvert noisy city-scapes with 
meticulously orchestrated real-time arrangements, Rob Pruitt is all 
high-class paddling pools, monster-size cookies and down-time denim. 
London-born William Mackrell continues the party theme with birthday 
cake-sized illuminations that may burn fast, but which leave a 
lunar-etched after-glow to bask in.

There’s fire from the off via Marcelle’s video piece,’ Confronto’, 
setting out its store on a monitor that wilfully obstructs the gallery 
entrance. Onscreen, a group of fire jugglers stop the traffic, 
increasing in number as their routine moves from red-light 
entertainment to green-light environmental alchemy. Marcelle’s 
similarly-inclined ‘Volta ae Mondo (Round the World)’ goes even 
further, as increasing numbers of white vans circumnavigate a 
roundabout ad nauseum. Such an elaborately choreographed urban 
merry-go-round resembles the staging of a carefully planned heist; The 
Brazilian Job, if you will.

Mackrell too explores the performative, the playful and the political, 
 from ‘90 Minutes’, in which a concrete football sits at the centre of 
the gallery waiting for kick-off, to the glorious ‘1000 Candles’, in 
which 1000 tea candles are captured as a photograph, on film and, 
health-and-safety permitting, from flame-on mode to last-gasp flickers. 
Onscreen especially, the effect is of some orbiting planet moving from 
dawn to dusk.

If Pruitt’s ‘Evian Fountain’ is a very expensive splash-about, his 
oversize and indisputably toothsome biscuits in’ Pop-Pop’s 
Chocolate-Chip Cookie’s suggests Roald Dahl reconfiguring Charlie and 
the Chocolate Factory in Lilliput. Pruitt’s two takes on ‘Esprit de 
Corps’, meanwhile, fills classic blue jeans with concrete and cotton, 
then sews them together in a body-melding mirror-image which, as with 
Marcelle and Mackrell’s work, contorts reality enough to drive it round 
the bend.

The List, July 2012

ends



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Suzy Glass – Message from the Skies

Freedom of movement matters to Suzy Glass, the arts and events producer currently overseeing the second edition of Message from the Skies.This animated literary derive around the city forms part of this year’s Edinburgh’s Hogmanay programme, and runs right through till Burns’ Night. Glass’ concerns are inherent in the event itself, which has commissioned six writers from different disciplines and experiences to each pen a love letter to Europe. Each writer has then paired up with a composer and visual artist or film-maker, with the results of each collaboration projected in monumental fashion on the walls of one of half a dozen of the capital’s most iconic buildings.
With venues stretching from the south side of Edinburgh to Leith, and with one city centre stop requiring a walk up Calton Hill, there is considerable legwork required to complete the circuit. It shouldn’t be considered a race, however, and audiences are free to move between venues at their leisure, visiting each site on d…

Kieran Hurley – Mouthpiece

Things have changed since Kieran Hurley first began writing the play that would become Mouthpiece, which opens at the Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh this weekend. At the time, Hurley was, in his own words, “quite new on the scene.” As a writer and performer, he had already scored hits with Beats and Chalk Farm, two pieces that put him on the map with a new generation of theatre-makers steeped in an equally new wave of grassroots opposition that drew from the iconography of revolutions past. Where Beats looked at the politicisation of 1990s club culture, Chalk Farm, co-written with AJ Taudevin, focused on a teenage boy caught up in the 2011 London riots.
More plays followed. Some, like Heads Up used the same solo story-telling aesthetic to look at an everyday apocalypse. More recently, Square Go, written with Gary McNair, dissected toxic masculinity through a school playground fight.
All the while as Hurley developed as a writer, from new kid on the block to established provocateur, this…

Rob Drummond – The Mack

Rob Drummond was at home in England when he looked at the news feed on his phone, and saw a post about the fire at Glasgow School of Art. It was June 2018, and the writer and performer behind such hits as Grain in the Blood, Bullet Catch and Our Fathers initially presumed the post was to mark the fourth anniversary of the 2014 blaze in GSA’s Mackintosh Building, which was undergoing a major restoration after much of it was destroyed.
As it turned out, the news was far worse, as reports of a second fire were beamed across the world. As someone who had taken Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s iconic construction for granted while living in Glasgow, Drummond was as stunned as anyone else with even a passing relationship with the Mack.
While emotions continue to run high in response to the disaster, Drummond channelled his thoughts on all this into what he does best. The result is The Mack, a new play that forms part of Oran Mor’s A Play, A Pie and a Pint lunchtime theatre season in Glasgow prior …