Attractively clad in silver trousers and a glossy, pleated black blouse, Mirjam Sögner really hooked me during the first few minutes of LARA. It wasn’t the chic, shiny garb so much as her quirky, jerky facial and physical pixilations that did the trick – like witnessing the broken dreams of a narcoleptic futurist channelling silent film behaviour. But then Sögner hauled the chair she was using upstage, standing atop or stumbling and oozing around in front of it to spacey, burbling music and flashy, pulsating lights. Her skilfully fractured, esoteric mannerisms began to seem like schtick, leading to that stretchy top covering or framing her thin, rather hauntingly pure face in a series of objet d’art tableaux separated by blackouts. LARA (Croft?) evinced craft, as well as an imaginatively questioning awareness of how the digital age might impact the body. Alas, it also lost my interest.
performed by Mirjam Sögner
Say hello to Mirjam the Martain. She may not understand you, though, as she’s kind of new to the human thing. The stage is an imaginary galactic landscape of pulsating purple lights supplemented by electronic chirping. Donning futuristically-styled garb, Sögner mimics human mannerisms with little success. A bizarre dance of staccato juddering, warped smiles and wild eyes ensues. The lights splutter on and off, as if aligned with her malfunctioning robot persona. Viewed between black-outs, Sögner shifts into a number of deconstructed bodily images. It's unique and hypnotic, and yet she didn’t transport me to another world. Instead I remained a polite observer as this solo dance came to an anti-climatic close. The question I desperately want to ask: does Sögner's quirky corporeal language have any repercussions, or does it just bind her to this same perpetual dimension?