Metanoia. Mechanic’s Institute, 270 Sydney Road, Brunswick. June 17 – 27, 2015

Metanoia’s 10CSoffers a self directed, almost arbitrary, visit to ten sites exploring the Ten Commandments.   In all, it’s a very personal journey predicated on one’s personal attitudes, understandings and inclinations towards a variety of religions. 

This challenging unconventional work is compiled in a variety of mediums.  There are 10 delineated sites with various installations; most are peopled and a couple of these purely electronic, a number subdued and a couple loud to the point of being brash.   

In the short 90minutes duration, whilst all works were being presented simultaneously, I found that I was only really able to connect with about five of the ten works.  This was a time issue but I also found I was unsure about how to move through the work, particularly as it was difficult to read the program and listings in the dull light of the Mechanics Institute.  ‘Note to self’ - if I find myself in a similar situation I will quickly grab an overview and then focus more clearly on what I am drawn to.   Or perhaps get there a bit earlier and carefully read the issued material and ask attendants their ideas about how to move through the work.

There are a couple of touchstones, one being the Bar where we all set off from and the haunting mobile songstress Aseel Tayah.  Also The Robber Shane Grant provides a kind of binding work in his attempts to remove valuable items from audience members prior to his performance, that attracted a large audience. 

The shows I gave my time to were mixed.  I was drawn to 6th C – Thou shalt not commit adultery - partly because of the live sound and music by Ren Walters that was underpinning and interacting with the physical and vocal work of Elanaz Sheshgelani.  I found this installation to be rich and engaging and was willingly entranced and provoked.

Most impressive is the one on one performance 7Th C -Thou shalt not kill by Miles Paras, created by Chi Vu.  This is one of those very intimate challenges for an audience of one and as such not for the faint hearted.  It is a strong and moving work. 

I was unsettled by the installation 1st C -Thou shalt have no other Gods before me (Vissolela Ndenzako), intrigued by 9th C - Thou shalt not bare false witness against thy neighbor (Greg Ulfan) and disconcerted by the very complex and demanding and somewhat brutal 5th C -Honor thy father and thy mother (Kylie Supski and Reverse Butcher with sound by Chris Wenn and projections by Mikhala Hawken).

Perhaps the Artistic Direction (Gorkem Acaroglu) and Dramaturgy (Lara Thoms) could be a little more binding of the various parts. 

The eclectic combination of contributions does create a whole that is of considerable value.  You will need to see it for yourself to be able to decide if it is more than the sum of its parts.

Rich rewarding and highly recommended.

Suzanne Sandow

Artists | Gorkem Acaroglu , Reverse Butcher, Dagmara Gieysztor, Shane Grant, Robert Jordan, Brienna Macnish, Zoe Meagher, Vissolela Ndenzako, Kylie Supski, Greg Ulfan, Chi Vu, Paul Irving, Aseel Tayah, and Elnaz Sheshgelani

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