In the 1966 movie Fantastic Voyage, an experimental technique that can miniaturise matter, for up to one hour, is used to shrink a team of people to the size of single cells and inject them into the body of a brilliant scientist, on a mission to a relieve a blood clot in his brain.
Strip out the retro campiness, add a shot of David Lynch weirdness, and you have the feel of Dark Field Analysis by ‘Swedish-German dance nerd’ Jefta van Dinther, in which two men, each wearing nothing but a microphone, take us on an expedition into – um, the human bloodstream?
Even at the beginning it’s perplexing, but at least we know where we are: watching Juan Pablo Cámara and Roger Sala Reyner sitting naked on a mat below a suspended square of light, talking cryptically about getting ‘inside’ themselves – through memory, through imagination, through blood…
Disorientation sets in from there. Minna Tiikkainen’s fitful lighting fractures into red and green, as if through 3d lenses. David Kiers’ sonic environment throbs like blood in the ear. Smoke fogs our vision and Reyner takes up a growling, psychedelic chant that might be coming from him, the sound system, or both.
And then there’s the blackout – total, and just too long for comfort – and by the time the ghostly light returns, we’re someplace else. The men crawl blindly in strange, stop-motion spasms, their pallid bodies – antibodies? – looking creepily cellular or dendritic. They hunch and flinch, and scan us unnervingly. Cámara gouges up the floor, Reyner continues a long snarl of song, and together they clamber and scrabble, more corpuscular than corporeal. In this strangely primordial innerspace, such dislocations of sound, sight and scale get inside us.
Can we get out? Cámara climbs onto Reyner’s shoulders, reaching upwards as if towards normality. The hour-long performance ends, and we emerge from the theatre blinking at familiar streets, back to normal yet feeling weirdly out-of-body. It’s been quite a trip.