I am a writer living in Melbourne who loves to devour culture and the arts. Visit me at www.pumptheatre.com.au
Be still my beating heart
This week I visited AKAI ITO and the Forest in Emerald City at the Melbourne Fringe Festival, a live installation in the Meat Market in North Melbourne. Book your tickets here.
Upon entry, we are lead into a forest of suspended red pulsating sculptures. Each sculpture has headphones and we listen to real human stories of connection with our fellow Fringe comrades. Randomly we rotate through the audial forest of stories and also a maze of fragments from the stories. The stories are real, beautiful, and often heartbreaking. Don't be surprised if you or others start to well up with tears, particularly if you can relate to the experience of the storyteller. But hold tight, there's more to explore.
We are taken into a second room with a maze of red string and with two people connected by a red cable. We sit and watch as two people move through the maze and also create a web with help from the audience. The beauty is in eyes of beholder - and we hear pieces of narrative from the stories we heard, and see the performers connect, disconnect, entangle, and separate.
The performance is emotional and psychological, and not for the light hearted. However, this is important work, as it travels deep and explores stories that we know exist in our community, or that we may have already lived.