- Deborah Chu
- 6 August 2019
This article is from 2019
An examination of our relationship to weather in the face of potential climate catastrophe
Vancouver-based performer Anita Rochon created Pathetic Fallacy as a means of examining humankind's evolving relationship with the weather, especially as climate change pushes our weather systems to greater extremes. When it came to touring the show internationally, however, Rochon elected not to come along in order to reduce carbon emissions. Thus, every night, a new performer steps in to become 'Anita', receiving instructions in real time on stage against a green screen.
Watching 'Anita' interpret Rochon's instructions elicits a great deal of laughter from the audience, though this levity doesn't detract from the serious questions that Rochon poses: how do we cope with the knowledge that our existence is killing the planet, and what kind of future can we hope for? Meditations on weather's place in art, history and religion are scored by Rochon's disembodied, god-like narration, akin to the weather deities our ancestors once worshipped. Despite this, there's a definite lack of structure to proceedings, which means that certain moments, like a meandering interview between Rochon and her father, are allowed to stray too far from the show's overall thesis.
Pathetic Fallacy certainly doesn't pull its punches where it counts, however. Rochon's decision to absent herself implicitly points the finger at the arts community, forcing it to examine its contribution to the current climate crisis. This is especially resonant at a festival on the Fringe's scale, which celebrates its size and international scope without considering the sacrifices necessary to preserve our future on this planet.
CanadaHub @ King's Hall, until 25 Aug, 5pm, £11 (£9).