One Spectacle Review





Optik are working in that area of performance art where the subtle interplay of actions, images and sounds can tease or fire the imagination but will provoke different responses and associations in each spectator. For me the richest and most startling vein of imagery plays upon contrasts and points of conflict between East and West: extremely funny sequences of stylised sexual attraction and rejection between performers in evening dress exist in ironic counterpoint with an Oriental peasant woman sitting reading a ‘Dandy’ comic. The overall effect is a somewhat more restrained, less anarchic People Show, though a fishing expedition, accompanied by wildly exaggerated rural sounds and culminating with a pipe-smoking fisherman standing draped in a camouflage net, touches the same heights of provocative lunacy. It’s good to see a group who shows such inventiveness and control. They underline once again the age-old message that non-verbal performance, so often regarded with suspicion in the UK, can yield very distinct insights and pleasures.