Emese Cuhorka & Csaba Molnár
Emese Cuhorka and Csaba Molnár are both the painters and the canvases of their Masterwork. This comic duo of pantomimes seems to play a spontaneous copycat game, rather than perform choreography. Driven by pounding electro music, they depict all kinds of stuttered images, from playing air clarinet to banging their hips against the floor while in splits. The longer they zigzag between these abstract and figurative forms, the more their artwork becomes visible, but the more they erase themselves, their sweat blurring the painted garments on their skins. When they bring objects into play, they shapeshift more radically but less inventively: a large fan becomes a tutu, a yoga mat transforms into a designer’s hat. The many little bits of everything don’t add up anymore. Their theatrical world adopts images from the actual world, but leaves that world unquestioned.
I don’t know what Emese Cuhorka and Csaba Molnár are on, or even what they’re on about, but I do know that they are – as they have been since I first cast eyes on them at Spring Forward 2014 – insanely watchable performers. Their Masterwork duet is a zany mixture of mechanical repetition – zigzagging shoulders, up-and-down legs, pumping arms, back-and-forth tugs and shoves – with outré accoutrements, including ‘costumes’ of bright body paint (soon smeared with sweat), clunky clogs used, improbably, for pointework, weird wigs, giant fans, and yoga mats that serve variously as body armour, blankets or butt-crack flossers.
It all rather messes with your mind, as I guess it’s meant to. But the reason it’s so effective is not the mess but the material: an explosive mix of clockwork composition, unpredictable imagery, taut technique and wild, flamboyant excess.