Buzzcut Double Thrills: Herpes by Eirini Kartsaki (4 stars)

Buzzcut Double Thrills: Herpes by Erin Kartsaki

Buzzcut presents Eirini Kartsaki's piece on STI's and female expectations

In their final iteration before the New Year, Buzzcut present a collection of work that's as fresh and thought-provoking as ever. The first portion of the evening includes some impressive work in progress from their first Associateship winner, Mamoru Iriguchi, followed by an exhausting movement piece from Greg Sinclair. The night culminates with Herpes by Eirini Kartsaki, an intense and uncomfortable work that grotesquely parodies the ideals of femininity that are placed on women without their consent.

Kartsaki is dressed in a combination of caricatured costume and medical gear, staring the audience down as she repeats sickeningly descriptive language describing conception, childbirth and sex. Her use of language and vocal power is captivating, drawing the audience in so that the she can then provoke disgust moments later. This reflects her own views of feminine ideals, as she pulls the audience in line with these views with forceful affect.

Kartsaki's performance is forceful, if slightly repetitive. Her use of personal experience is performed with a deadpan sincerity that is both comedic and cutting, while her bizarre props and costumes distance the audience from truly understanding her. But, perhaps, this is the point.

As ever with Buzzcut, the performance's interaction with the BSL interpreter is as entertaining as the work itself. Kartsaki is a performer who knows what she wants to achieve from her work, disregarding the notion of pleasure in the audience's experience in exchange for clarity and impact of meaning. Herpes is a fascinating piece of work that achieves its message, while foregrounding the personality of a talented and intelligent performer.

CCA, Glasgow, run ended.

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