SummerWorks review: Imaginary Anthropologies

IMAGINARY ANTHROPOLOGIES by Gabriel Dharmoo. Factory Studio..

IMAGINARY ANTHROPOLOGIES by Gabriel Dharmoo. Factory Studio. Aug 6 at 8 pm, Aug 8 at 4 pm, Aug 10 at 5:15 pm, Aug 12 at 4 pm, Aug 13 at 2:30 pm. See listing. Rating: NN

Gabriel Dharmoo’s solo show features 45 minutes of him exploring made-up vocal intonations meant to poke fun at western anthropologists’ fetishization of “exotic” cultures.

It’s unique, but also polarizing by the end you’re either laughing along with his latest repetitive riff on a nonsensical vocalization, or eyeing the door desperate for respite from the barrage of annoying sounds.

Besides his chants, hums, pops, wails and throat singing, Dharmoo doesn’t speak. The action is contextualized by a video mockumentary featuring talking head anthropologists opining (in French, with subtitles) about different aspects of these fictional cultures.

The critique is intriguing, and at times the absurdity comes through nicely, but the continuous performance of faux-ethno-scat becomes grating and has limited appeal.

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