Eloquence with Mette Edvardsen

by Thomas Olsson

Review of Black, MDT, 26 March 2011, Stockholm.

I just have to admit it. I love the conceptual attitude always to be found in Mette Edvardsen’s work which gets us in the audience to begin contemplating a little more about stage art and how human perception functions.

The scenic space involved in her latest performance, ”Black”, at MDT last weekend, is, apart from Edvardsen herself, the lighting and the black curtains, wholly empty, but by the repetition of words such as table, chair, lamp, shade, light, floor, there, here, one, two, three and steps, she furnishes and creates a kind of room. Table, table, table, table, table, table, table, table begins Edvardsen and she has a table before her. Just as rapidly, images of a chair and a lamp are conjured up.

The actions, activities and movements she executes are always the same as the word she repeats, so quickly at times that she becomes a little breathless. For my own part, I could not help thinking about the artist, Thomas Broomé’s paintings and drawings of various objects (Modern mantra) where, for example, a sofa consists of the word itself.

Mette Edvardsen’s piece is actually very simple but so consistently implemented that one cannot but be fascinated by the half-hour long performance which ends abruptly with the word Black. Spoken just the one.

Article published online in Nummer.se blog, 27 March 2011: http://blogg.nummer.se/. Translated from Swedish by Neil Howard.