Posted by Cian Cruise on September 25th, 2015
My laptop’s charging in the AC stand and my cell phone’s daisy chained to the USB port, both hungry for power after a week of labour. A BBQ pork steamed bao works its way down my gullet. People mill about the airport, wandering from gate to gate, towing children or luggage or time. I just said goodbye to Guadalupe and Luciana, who’re heading back to Van city for the Live Biennale. The other artists have already left, their homes spread across the wide expanse of this nation. My flight’s in an hour or so. All of a sudden the festival’s over, I can feel it in my bones.
Posted by Cian Cruise on September 23rd, 2015
There’s something new in the air. After Nine and Five, Three is something of a shock. Today the latex structure acts as a greater intervention on the street. At the corner of Jasper Ave and 101st, Rachel Echenberg and two participants stand between the marble benches in front of the CIBC. At first you can’t even see the balloon unless you get close, it appears to be nothing more than some hot pink multi-user bagpipe, but then it grows, and Rachel steps back into the communal space. (more…)
Posted by Cian Cruise on September 21st, 2015
Rachel sits alone. She breathes into a latex structure. She’s on the steps of the legislature building, her balloon already the size of a basketball by the time I arrive. She’s halfway up the steps and halfway through inflating the balloon which blocks her face from my approach, like a hot pink, gargantuan sphere of bubblegum. It’s overcast, and the day is remarkably sombre despite the joyful architecture of the space: there’s square-cut pools of overlapping geometry, round stepping stones, and two rows of trees shedding autumn’s fireworks in the esplanade before the great granite steps of the seat of legislature. (more…)
Posted by Cian Cruise on September 20th, 2015
Breathe in, breathe out. Nine people crowded shoulder to shoulder. Spouts hang from their mouths, limp latex between pursed lips. They make eye contact over the saggy, posset coloured balloon and slowly imbue the sack with life. They stand in the square in front of Edmonton’s City Hall, by a war memorial obelisk, across the street from a myriad of hyperactive spin cyclists churning electric butter for charity. This is the first performance of Rachel Echenberg’s Nine, Five and Three a participatory piece in which observers cross the boundary between actor and audience to join the performer in an act of blowing up a multifaceted bladder of thick, pinkish, floppy material that reminds me of an oversized haggis, or a collection of distended udders. (more…)