Performing Arts: Theater
September 30, 2015
Iranian artist Ali Moini fits right into NewYorkLiveArts, where “Where thinking and movement meet the future.” Moini's thoughtful presence speaks louder than his taped voice, which accompanies his methodical construction/destruction of an image of a man imprisoned by his past. This stocky man with a tense, if not haunted, face, went about his business of sharing his live story with stoic heaviness. Certainly, he makes an unforgettable impression, while he creates a technically sophisticated visual statement about connections and our ability to cut them or honor them.

At the start of the fifty minute show which premiered in 2013, 5 floor lights, obscured by 2 freestanding walls, glare at us from upstage. Moini enters dressed in white and begins to methodically push these walls apart, one at a time. He proceeds to add 12 digital, illuminated texts to each wall, usually 1 - 4 words long, with a long wire attached, creating matching diagonals on each wall. The steady pace allows the viewer to digest each text, such as “Second Relationship,” or. “My Paradoxical Knives.” Then, with the same rhythm and symmetrical movement, he slowly picks up the wires, one at a time, to snap the ends on to his shirt and pants. “Lives” resembles a grim, predictable 24/7 job that existentialist playwrights like Sartre or Beckett might recognize.

Despite the implied drama of growing up in a revolution, Moini refrains from any emotional display, except perhaps numbness. The only hint of self preservation and escape, as he holds his arms up with his feet in parallel second, the wires keeping him steady, comes from his brief exotic singing and his subtle hip swaying, toe tapping dance, both while attached and detached to the digital text.

As much visual arts, this work is a natural for galleries and museums. Fed Rodrigues created the video, design and props for “Lives” based on an original idea by George Apostolakos. Lights and technical direction is by Augustin Sauldubois.

“Lives” was co-presented with New York Live Arts and the Hermes Foundation’s Foundation d’entreprise Hermes, as part of French Institute: Alliance Francaise (FIAF) Fall Festival Crossing the Line 2015.
EYE ON THE ARTS, NY -- Deirdre Towers

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