WOMAN AS LANDSCAPE created and interpreted by Lin Snelling, visual design, music and video by Michael Reinhart. Presented by the Theatre Centre and Carbone 14 at Artword (75 Portland). Runs to April 1, Thursday-Saturday 8 pm, matinee Sunday 2:30 pm. $24, stu/srs $18. 416-538-0988. Rating: N Rating: NNNNN
name any cliche about esoteric
70s performance art and it's unfortunately present and accounted for in Lin Snelling's Woman As Landscape. Being at one with the elements. Whooshing sounds and images of water. Eastern religion. Rolling around with sack-cloth on your head. Groaning aloud and pretending to be some sort of animal.
I kid you not. In fact, I wish Snelling -- a member of acclaimed Montreal troupe Carbone 14, a co-producer of the show -- had a sense of humour. She doesn't. Which, of course, makes the 70-minute show unintentionally funny in a Saturday Night Live Deep Thoughts kinda way.
"I love abstractions," she coyly says, in one of her bad-Margaret-Atwood-imitation monologues that compete for our wandering attention with various overproduced multimedia effects like lapping waves, a violinist using his bow on a set of copper containers and a woman occasionally murmuring words en français into a microphone.
Problem is, Snelling keeps telling us about her body while she shows us very little. Apart from an early image of the planes and shadows of her back, we're given little dance or movement, just a lot of mumbo-jumbo philosophizing.
Woman as landscape? Hardly.
Woman as boring is more like it.