Tiago Guedes/ Materiais Diversos
09.09.08 at Winningstad Theatre
2008 Time-Based Art Festival, PICA
Photo by Jennifer Erickson
All Rights Reserved, PICA
Posted by Dusty Hoesly
Tiago Guedes is phenomenal. His show Materiais Diversos (Various Materials) is a joyful, funny, and whimsical performance, one sure to please adults and children alike. With assured calm and physical dexterity, Tiago mimes, then reenacts with props, a complicated dance that invites us to question the nature of performance, our environment, and the value of seriousness in art–all without speaking a word.

In the first half of the show, Tiago uses no props, miming his way around the stage as if he is constructing something then manipulating it. He starts by gesturing that he is picking up an object and lifting it over his head before he goes about setting up the stage. We imagine boundaries and structures as he gyrates, paces, gesticulates, fingers signs, bows, lies down, and puffs up his chest. Happy electronic piano music plays towards the end of the set, a song that induces smiling irresistibly.
In the reenactment, Tiago engages his props. He pulls black electrical tape off the floor and lifts it to his head, before balling it up and throwing it away. Retracing his earlier miming step-by-step and movement-by-movement, he pulls two chairs with a wire, strings tape between two poles, lays newspaper on the floor, tapes them together. We watch him making art, wondering what he will create. Using the taped newspaper as a canvas suspended between the poles, he spray paints a green valley scene, spritzing water on the paper then burning small parts of it, using the wet spots for clouds and the burn marks for tree trunks. A loosened roll of blue plastic bags symbolizes a river, with his body serving as a bridge. He is a part of the nature he has created, a surprising world where a child’s laughter rings from the balcony and grown-ups see the possibilities of merging abstraction with humor. The happy electronic music plays again and with it Tiago’s charm carries the audience to their feet.
Posted by Dusty Hoesly