Pearce Institute, Glasgow

Mary Brennan


The Moptops are telling it like they see it. Last year, at BuzzCut, they were the locally-recruited kids just watching and absorbing daily doses of radical live art. Now this youth group (from Govan and Ibrox) is on the programme with POP, a gung-ho encapsulation of performance: it has music, movement, personal statements and, along with audience participation, it has MESS! By the end, we're all covered with popcorn and it's funny - but totally in the spirit of the five day event.

Mess, in the key of one man's iconoclasm and rage, comes with Jamie McMurry's savagely poetic Soiled. In the chill darkness of the Pearce Institute (PI) back-lot, McMurry, in military fatigues, wreaked physical havoc on the dingy domesticity of a single hotel room. The unscheduled soundtrack of a dog barking nearby, and voices singing hymns from somewhere inside PI, pinpointed the ordinary that was still beyond his traumatised reach.Images of destruction leading to transfigured renewal - quintessential McMurry.

Personal statements were to the fore throoughout BuzzCut. Janice Parker's first ever solo show, What Would Richard Do?, offered a profound and affecting witness to artists - like Raimund Hoghe, Anne Seagrave, Richard Layzell (the Richard of the title) - who had fed into her own creative practice over the years. For some of us, this was a reminder of the erstwhile riches of National Reviews of Live Art, for everyone it was a journey of luminous artistic discoveries. Movement? Miles and Miles - a work-in-progress by Haranczak/Navarre (Karen Christopher and Sophie Grodin) - was a choreography of texts, ideas and coils of rope that teased your thoughts into exploring the nature of risk-taking (and risk-faking) on-screen, on-stage and in life while whispering hopes and doubts about trust. Already there are so many vivid textures meshing together here, with the wry humour that is part of the interaction between the performers leavening the intensity of their shared investigations.

Yee-hah! Eilidh MacAskill - in crotchless chaps, cowboy hat and mischief-making mode - delivered the in-progress Stud, a fully-frontal assault on the Freudian theories about penis envy, woven through with some macho-swaggering horse-sense and advice on DIY. Yes, it's hilarious. And whimsical. But MacAskill has serious issues in her sights: her questioning of Freud's impact on how we interpret sexuality, behaviour in puberty, and assign roles along gender-specific lines is cogent and provocative. Her inflatable costume at the end - I won't spoil the delicious surprise, because Stud is likely to re-appear on the Fringe.

Let's hope that Mamoru Iriguchi's 4D Cinema re-appears in Scottish venues soon. At first glance, his solo work is a tongue-in-cheek "hommage" to screen icon Marlene Dietrich whose image he inhabits via a screen he wears on his head. In 3D mode, his spoken resume of her life and career is decidedly wonky on certain details. In 4D mode, the sheer craft and invention of his process takes on other dimensions as the first half spools back across his screen. And we are also captured on that film. Suddenly 4D has shifted into a work about time as well as perception. We don't regret the 45 minutes of 4D we won't get back again - this is a really cunning, witty work that makes the brain cells spark with delight.

Over five days, BuzzCut saw performers pushing themselves, and us, to look - and look again - at who we are as individuals and as part of society. Govan itself was featured in several pieces, a rallying cry to be aware of context and community wherever you buzz.... It's over, for another year. And, by the way, what did Richard Layzell do? He performed Clear Stripes, to rousing cheers!