Fringe Online 2020
Jaydev Mistry wanders around the halls, theatres, cinemas, galleries, nooks and crannies which make up Manchester’s Home venue to record the building as an empty cathedral. The lack of activity and people allow this singular procession to wander at will and is accompanied by stills from Arvind Mistry interwoven to complement the journey. Along with the computer-generated visuals this seeks to expose and explore the venue itself as character.
This has charm but also haunts with the absence. The visuals and video work exceptionally well as we see a place, for most of us, that is work more than a place of worship or contemplation. Here it emerges with a sense of itself that has been delved into by the camera to show us what it feels like without people.
It feels empty.
That emptiness is part sadness and part celebration and as it repeats some of the imagery and takes us from the outside to within. The best thing about the piece is the soundtrack that haunts and pulses through stairs, bars and cupboards.
At times it left me looking for more, as when we go into the bar and glimpse someone outside. In a deserted street there is movement and for a moment I wonder what would have come of an interaction between a single figure in a deserted urban landscape and the emptiness of a theatre and arts venue that has not got a future unless the single person outside goes forth, multiplies and by word of mouth drags the audience back in.
As a contemplative internal gesture, it was enough to remind me that we were seeing something at rest that ought to be far from still.
Overall, the blend of music, video and still photography entices us in, would make me want to visit but reminds me of what we are missing. The commentary upon that could, however, been more engaging between us.