THE smell of burning wafts in from the courtyard - F/K/Alexander is incinerating a childhood toy. As she chalks "I honour my losses. I am free" on a blackboard, what is being reduced to ashes is the hold that certain objects have on us. Welcome to Buzzcut, and to the first action in Dstry/Yr/Slf. Once a day, until Sunday, Alexander will declutter her home, her heart and her thoughts, by making a bonfire of belongings that really do not belong in her life anymore.
If this is an act of cleansing, healing maybe, then the opening day of Buzzcut's third festival - and its first ever presence in Govan - carried through that theme in various one-to-one encounters. Five minutes with Edward Crawley encompassed a journey from an I-centred universe (initial conversation is focussed only on self) to a surrender of that exclusive absorption in the nearby churchyard. We, too, will eventually turn to dust, but for now the silence is a briefly golden moment as the spring breeze whirls our handfuls of glitter-dust into the air.
More restorative calm came in a small back room, where Amy Rosa's interaction offered meditative respite. Spooned into a hugging closeness with her, aromatic oil drifting into your nostrils from the gentle hand held over your eyes, all sense of time and place vanished in the rhythms of shared breathing. "I'm going to do THIS ... here!"
So saying, Silvia Ziranek brought the crowd in the cafe to a standstill with the first of her Buzzcut interventions - or maybe they are more like liberating transgressions. For as Ziranek shrugs into a gaudy tutu, loud-hails us with a megaphone, pours glasses of booze (but then drinks them all herself) and - with dramatic elan - smashes plates, she delivers defiance in a nutshell. There will be more each day.
Yee-hah! Kim Donohue and Ellie Dubois, suitably cowboy-hatted and booted, served up a personal country music Hall Of Fame with the Dixie Chicks, Loretta Lynn and Patsy Cline to the fore.
But there was a darker side to I Hope You Never Love Anyone As Much As I Love You, one that humorously, but pointedly exposed the female stereotypes that still sing about the men they stand by, or fall to pieces over.
Lucy Hutson, meanwhile, stripped away layers of wannabe-good intentions (and clothes) in a caustically humorous solo show that grilled and shredded the reasons we embrace causes: protest, give money, give up types of food or behaviour patterns as we scale the moral high ground.
In Britney Spears Custody Battle vs Zeus In Swan Rape Shocker, Hutson channelled a feisty stream of personal anecdote and self-deprecation that - like her forays into religion, or protest movements - all stemmed from a need to be loved, or like the title's headlines, noticed. A brilliant, incendiary end to the day.