“I am LGB”
Reviewer: Dawn Teo
Performance: 20 August 2016
Commissioned by the Singapore International Festival of Arts, I Am LGB is a collaboration between Loo Zihan and Ray Langenbach. Addressing social constructs, self-identity and propaganda, this is a social experiment of questioning ourselves and our environment.
In the vein of participatory performance art pieces, I Am LGB demands direct engagement from the audience, as the audience become the very subjects that perform tests and produces outcomes.
The experiment starts immediately upon stepping through the entrance of 72-13.
Personal belongings are removed and in their place a textbook and a pencil. The audience are asked to put on a lab coat with an index number that will be their marker for the night. A mug shot is taken and the audience walks into the chamber – a sterile white room with chairs, tables, facilitators and a huge podium that requires you to look so far up that aches your stiff neck.
Everything is very surreal, in the sense that you will be listening to lectures and taking tests with your peers in this confined space. To leave the chamber is to be liberated and to never step back into this space again. Oddly enough, it is rare for anyone to voluntarily ask to be liberated. After all, that will mean missing out on what is to come and the thrill of the unknown. The audience members will slowly be liberated throughout the four hours of the performance, with only one left and named LGB for that one night.
Despite its strangeness and claustrophobic nature, the performance turns out to be a microcosm of society today and that makes it eerily pertinent. Facilitators will constantly watch over you, liberate you for reasons that you are unaware of and you repeat the cycle all over again with different activities.
This piece of work set me thinking about what it really means to be liberated. It sets me thinking about my place in this complicated web of politics, social networks and home. It is a journey of self-discovery and a realisation of how art truly imitates, or is, life.
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ABOUT THE PRODUCTION
I AM LGB by Loo Zihan and Ray Langenbach
18 – 20 August 2016
ABOUT THE REVIEWER
Teo Dawn is currently a student with the Intercultural Theatre Institute. She has been in theatre since the age of 14, working on theatre productions as an actress and as a stage manager. Dawn is also a writer with Poached Magazine, PopSpoken as well as Scene.SG.