A ponytailed man steps onto the stage and pulls on a long-sleeved black vest and black gloves. Positioning his feet bestride a floor marking, he swings his arms and sees the twin arcs reflected in the actions of a slim, green, angular avatar of a monitor on the wall in front of him. Through the window, I see the artist himself, with whom I exchange a coy wave. In an adjacent room, the actor’s movements, gestures, and speech are recorded and digitally rendered by technicians behind a serried rank of monitors. I feel as if I’m intruding.
In a final, blacked-out area is projected the as-yet-unfinished film that the previous rooms have been devoted to making, a discomforting portrait of a split-personality digital avatar presented against a clean white background. Reduced to a bald head and bare forearms, he recites a long, sharp-edged prose poem of which the aforementioned wall texts are snatches. At regular intervals his demeanor, voice, and gestural idiosyncrasies are replaced in toto: one minute speaking in a woman’s voice, hands pressed tightly to his side; the next in the stuttering tones of a child, his arms describing wild, excitable gestures. Filtered through numerous personalities, the work recalls the fractures of modernist poetry more than any other work of visual art, and specifically Fiona Shaw’s extraordinary, ventriloquizing performances of T.S. Eliot’s “The Waste Land” (the working title for which was He Do the Police in Different Voices).