A Small Gathering

a-small-gathering

HOME (Homemakers commissions, viewed online) (venue)

02 May 2020 (released)

03 May 2020

Homemakers is a series of new commissions whereby artists create new works at home, for an audience who are also at home during this unprecedented time of lockdown. A Small Gathering is created by Ad Infinitum – a multi-award-winning theatre company. The work consists of three surreal short films made with the artists’ mobile phones, home cameras and torches, and is the company’s first video project to the public.

At first I expected the three shorts to be somehow connected with one another, however, although the narratives didn’t have any direct relations, the interesting parallels, imaginative visuals, absurd experiences and dark humour shared amongst them were still very fascinating.

They all depict one’s stay-home experiences, imaginations and nightmares. Mr Pink – the first short explores one’s anxiety and desires with bold and experimental images, Rewilding – the second short brings in one of our favourite topics during this Covid era – toilet rolls, and Cynthia’s Party – the third short visualises an imaginative gathering of the main character and her companions. All three are independent pieces, yet they all share interestingly thought-provoking elements such as fear, restlessness, absurdity, and, ironically – having a cup of tea.

It’s technical sides are rather well crafted too – albeit being limited to using very basic equipment and mostly home/indoors settings, the camera movements, editing rhythm, visual styles and audio effects are quite well executed. I particularly enjoyed the fact that the films are all non-verbal, which means the audience would have been captured by the visual and audio experience without being distracted by lines or speeches, and the artists would have been encouraged to explore the unique and creative elements a video has to offer. And in fact, during this lockdown period doesn’t the lack of conversations echo our current daily experience as well?

Overall this is an enjoyable piece and a great work to record this time of history we are all going through.

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