Posted by Annie Robb
Photo by Patrick Sullivan
You probably know by now, she did not appear on stage in person, but rather on screen. When I heard people talking about it quite literally around the water cooler this morning, I just blurted out, “I’m seeing it tonight,” and fled. I’m glad it was a surprise, though perhaps now I’m going to now ruin the surprise for you. It was funny, yes– dry, silly, absurd. I came in to the performance prepared to pay attention, to think about what I was experiencing so I could really understand the piece, and process it in order to talk about it intelligently and write about it here. But there was I.M.’s great head floating on screen, documenting her endless struggle understand the Truth about Thoughts, with her odd experiments, wacky interviews, and gradual decline into altered states in an effort to Know. There it all was, mocking my seriousness.
She and her cohort brought us from a few tentative titters at the start, all the way to full hearty laughter toward the end of the performance. There was great comic material to be sure, but the most valuable laughter was that which was truly at ourselves (at least in my case). Like I.M., we get bogged down by our heavy thoughts, and many of us take ourselves quite seriously. Like I.M., we look everywhere for definitive answers, we try drinking or meditation or getting naked and acting like fools. She went about documenting her struggle to understand the relationship between thoughts and weight, tongue firmly in cheek, with an unpretentious and honest air. Her on-screen persona was charming, engaging, and smart. The interviews with scientist “experts” were full of fun and interesting moments, and each new document presented on screen brought a bit of a surprise. Thanks, I.M., for bringing a bit of levity to my heavy head, and for making philosophy something we can have a chuckle over.