All this could be forgiven if the ideas behind the piece were engaging. Instead, the company regurgitates hackneyed political naivety and, having chosen a leadenly naturalistic tale, fails to relate the narrative coherently. Doo Cot does not lack the ideas for formal innovation (the animal puppets made of scrap metal provide the most engaging moments). But it should not presume to revolutionise a craft in which it has no practical talent.
The performance artist and film-maker Annie Griffin, on the other hand, long ago realised that the skills of presentation are a basic requirement for anyone working with an audience. Dressed in a pink tulle ballgown with diamante straps, she talks boffin-speak about camera technique while behind her a Victorian erotic film is just visible. Griffin is adept at establishing dissonances between those who do, those who watch and those who are watched, though at times the boundary between challenging our perceptions and indulging her own fantasies seems fatally blurred.
The film she then presents is similarly self-referential, exploring conflicts between the domestic and the artistic life. Being under-funded, it has no sound-track: the joy of it is that Griffin herself and Jack Stew provide the voices and sound effects live, thereby embodying one of the themes (struggling artistry) in the form. Griffin follows her ideas through with single-minded assurance; ironically, the net result is a work that seems sparse. Technically accomplished as she is, perhaps her narrative needs embellishment. Now she has the technique, she can afford to play with it more.Reuse content