Can an idea truly be original? Is the meaning of art determined by the artist or the viewer? Can monkeys produce art?
These questions and more are chewed over in Some Thing New, a collaborative workshop of four exercises designed to create an “art movement” which is “truly original”.
Yeah, you might want to throw up in your mouth a little bit at having to take part in free writing, emotional drawing and talking about feelings – or maybe that’s just me. Fortunately, you can find as much irony in this show as you wish, and either genuinely take something away from the exercises trying to prompt new ideas or curl your lip at the surrealness of the whole thing and have a very nice time doing it, thank you very much.
Kat, who seems to enjoy being in control, is leading the workshop. Despite her best efforts to keep nervous Seb, intense Ally, wafty Arianna and pretentious Edward (just kidding, they are all pretentious) on track, as the workshop goes on, their working relationships breakdown.
Sometimes the whole thing feels downright uncomfortable but there are moments of brilliance, like when one exercise grinds to a halt because of differing opinions about art (what else?!) and snide personal comments begin to creep in. These are the best bits, when the focus is on their tenuous relationships, and the veneer of earnest, arty, studentness starts to crack as they begin passive aggressively tearing chunks out of each other. I wanted to see this side of the show pushed ever further into the realm of parody and ridiculousness.
Some Thing New is playing at C Nova (Venue 145) 11-22 August as part of the Edinburgh Fringe. For more information, visit the Edinburgh Fringe website.