Moving Landscape

This article is from 2007.

A thousand tiny stories

In video clips on her website, Neel de Jong stands in an empty studio space. Her long tweed frock coat and eye goggles recall Mr Toad; her static, silent demeanour does not. She makes a tiny, polite motion with her head that her body eventually picks up on and repeats. Finally, she opens her mouth to emit a low primal moan. ‘I was thinking about the frustration of being at a tea party,’ says de Jong. ‘At the end you would just have to scream!’

It’s these small, spontaneous, very human moments where the façade bursts that interest de Jong. Her work changes with every performance, because she has stopped imposing structure upon herself. Improvising with the pianist Augusto Pirodda (‘I ask him not to play music that he already knows. When musicians do that, they are dead’), de Jong externalises a series of inner worlds for her audience. ‘I like Edinburgh,’ she says. ‘I feel that the people are really ready for this kind of work.’

Rocket @ Demarco Roxy Art House, 0871 750 0077, 5–11 Aug, 7.15pm, £5 (£3). Previews 2–4 Aug, £3 (£2).

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