Skip to main content

David Michalek: Figure Studies

Summerhall until September 27th 2012
4 stars

There's something heroic about David Michalek's three-screen sequel of 
sorts to his similarly styled Slow Dancing triptych of larger-than-life 
slo-mo studies of dancers in motion, first seen in 2007. Where in that 
piece five blink-and-you'll-miss-em seconds apiece were stretched out 
to ten minutes of extended play performed by professionals, the 
choreography applied here is to a more diverse array of long, short, 
tall and less whippet-like physiques. Seen largely naked, acting out 
routines of every-day movement, Michalek's subjects – a woman with a 
double mastectomy, a bearded old man shifting bags of cement in his 
Y-Fronts, a couple holding their baby aloft – become monumental pin-ups 
striking a pose, as every sinew, muscle and twitch is accentuated and 
buffed into shape.

As a conscious form of homage to and reinvention of cinematic and 
photographic techniques pioneered in the nineteenth century by Eadward 
Muybridge, Michalek's film may look as glossy as a coffee-table 
magazine spread made flesh. As each figure blurs into the next, 
however, there's a strength beyond the seductively hypnotic display, as 
imperfection blurs into beauty en route.

The List, September 2012



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 …