Reviewer: David Doyle
Tape is a new piece of performance art from the University of Central Oklahoma that incorporates visual art, music, dance, and theatre. The show aims to present the birth of a pop-culture Frankenstein and explore the creative process from inception to cessation.
The show itself consists of one performer, with tape on his face, lip-syncing and dancing to mainstream pop songs while four other performers watch on. One performer holding aloft a copy of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein punctuates these songs, just in case you’d forgotten this was the birth of a Frankenstein. The piece is far too blunt in its message. There’s no subtlety in the exploration of either the creative process or fame, which means that no genuinely new insights are garnered. Instead, there’s a confusing garble of performance pieces that never connect to form something of larger significance.
The piece initially draws parallels between vaudevillian freakshows and contemporary life but this rather interesting parallel never really goes anywhere and peters out quickly. Awkward audience interaction, and a selection of songs that seem to have been picked simply because they are well known rather than because they have significance compounds the show’s problems.
Some of the aesthetics on offer are interesting. Their parallels with the aesthetic of the Club Kid movement offer a chance to explore notions of fame in society but sadly this chance isn’t utilised. Overall Tape offers an extremely disappointing forty minutes of performance art that has none of the subtlety required to make it worth the price of a ticket.
Runs until 9 August 2016