In “Webbing,” Reality is a Dream

Reviews

By Austin Kaiser

“Webbing” is a meditative 35‑minute show in which Eva Petrič, sings soothing music while relaxing images of beaches and dewdrops falling from leaves are projected onto the wall—though the images become increasingly stranger and more provocative. As the performance begins, Ms. Petrič silently unravels a red ball of yarn. She is comfortable in silence. The songs reflect her belief that life is a web, and she intends to make us contemplate emptiness, time and space.
 
Ms. Petrič’s juxtaposition of vague symbolic language with tranquil sounds and visuals is enjoyable. It was calming to daydream. Her second song contained lyrics like, “One life. One dream. Do I smell God?” We saw pools of water and people running through cornfields. Occasionally, her voice echoed, and she harmonized with preዉrecorded vocals. “We are a dream that no one can break,” she said. As the tone became more surreal, an image showed Ms. Petrič holding up an octopus, then draping it over her head.
 
I kept smiling. I have a soft spot for shows that operate outside of logic. I think many viewers will benefit from unclenching their minds and peacefully drifting through the soft voice and images.
 
But not everything was so peaceful. The third song was stranger still; its subject was parasites. Photos showed Ms. Petrič wearing a pig nose, then fondling the arms of furniture. Eventually there were photos of her wearing wings, then taking them off.
 
This show is a thought factory, and if you lean into the thoughts, they can move you. They are alternately attractive and repulsive. Ms. Petrič eventually unraveled the red yarn onto hooks in the wall, and went back and forth until the stage had a web strung across it. She stood inside the shape. Soon, she tied roses to the yarn, making them hang and weigh it down. The visual was spellbinding.
 
I could see that there was a theme and that Ms. Petrič probably would have liked the audience to walk away with some specific meaning, but that did not happen. The lyrics were too vague for that. The show could be quite compelling if the “webbing” concept were explored more and then condensed into lyrics more efficiently like you hear in Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here,” The Eagles’ “Hotel California,” and Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway To Heaven.” Those are great examples of vague‑sounding lyrics that still give a more solid narrative than was provided here.
 
Toward the end, there were jarring images of roadkill and footage of a beating heart on a medical table. I felt the performance would continue with or without an audience, like an ongoing phenomenon existing outside of time. If you want a trippy experience,  is it.
 
Webbing
Written and Performed by Eva Petric
Nov. 1 at 7:30pm
Stage Manager: Oliver Zehetner
Photo: courtesy of the production
United Solo 2018
Theatre Row
410 West 42nd Street
New York City

AUSTIN KAISER is a writer with an expertise in art and the creative process. His writing is about improving your imagination and exercising your empathy muscle. Kaiser is currently writing a book called, “100 Questions Every Artist Should Have The Answers To.” His other book, “How To Go Viral & Put Wings On Ideas: A Book For Content Creators & Young Artists,” explains how ideas travel and which ideas travel best. More at www.medium.com/@KaiserMane.

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