Miijin Ki (2 stars)

This article is from 2019

Miijin Ki

Bold but incomprehensible performance art about colonialism

It's a fine line between performance art and theatre. In Lara Kramer's Miijin Ki (which translates from the Anishnaabemowin language to 'eating land'), four performers conduct a series of acts, slowly and precisely, intending to explore 'the interconnectedness of all things in the modern and natural world'.

As vague as that synopsis may sound, it is a performance that resists description. None of the acts – the undressing, the pacing, the wooden fish that is taken for a walk, seem in any way connected to either each other or anything relating to the modern and natural world.

Provided with some context, there may be some enjoyment to be found in reading stage images. However, if a performance requires footnotes to be understood, it fails its baseline necessity to entertain. Kramar's other work at this year's Fringe includes This Time Will Be Different, which suffers from failing to translate to a Scottish stage. Similarly, Miijin Ki's features visual metaphors without any recognisable origin or signifier. It may have more resonance with a Canadian audience, but most Scots will find themselves baffled by this almost entirely silent and indecipherable piece.

Summerhall, until 24 Aug, 4pm, £10 (£8).

Miijin Ki

  • 2 stars

Indigenous Contemporary Scene A woman twirls endlessly, casting trails of pleasure, while another rebuilds beauty among the fall and collapse of her storm. A man and a woman sit together in their spontaneity. Rocks hit ice, water gushes, voices muffled, plastic manipulated. Witness four bodies navigating colonial values…