Andrew Rybarsyk reviews Konrad Steiner’s performance at the Dreamland Theater that was part of this semester’s BathHouse Reading Series:
Konrad Steiner at the Dreamland Theater
I attended the early show of Konrad’s work at the Dreamland Theater in Ypsilanti Michigan; I was curious how his work would appear in an actual live reading and I wasn’t disappointed. The Dreamland Theatre was a very small hole in the wall theater that was dimly lit and furnished with old wooden benches. Attendance was high and a majority of people had to stand during the show. The show in general was quite interesting and had a full spectrum of works that kept the show fresh and entertaining, including experimental films, dubs, and readings.
The first work that was presented was an experimental film. It had a much worn appearance and the constant theme was old buildings and balloons to a somewhat creepy soundtrack. I didn’t like the film; it was too abstract compared to what I’m used to viewing and left me more confused than anything else.
During the night he showed his dub to Minority Report, I had seen this previously for my contemporary forms class. Konrad attended and spoke to my class regarding the creative process and some background into the making of this piece. Though I expected it to be an identical showing to the in class presentation Konrad performing live to the audience was very riveting and was completely different and had more life and soul. Though I fully enjoyed the in class presentation because it gave me a background to his creative process and the tools and materials that he used to make the piece. I was able to connect with that piece more than any other piece because of this extra info that I had received.
By far the most interesting work that Steiner performed was a dub from an old Nazi film. The film itself had a intensely high contrast to where everything was either black or white. Konrad donned a white American Apparel dress and stood in front of the projector so the film played off of him. He then proceeded to move about the room dubbing over the language with language of his own, purposely covering up portions of the screen. His use of himself as the canvas was brilliant and the way that he moved around the theater kept the whole audience guessing to what he was going to do next, by far my favorite of all the works he had done that evening.
Konrad’s work at the Deamland Theater in Ypsilanti was quite an experience; I got to see an abstract artist present his work live and in person. I walked away with a greater understanding of his work and the emotion that goes into this art form that a person watching on the internet wouldn’t fully understand. Though it didn’t make me a full lover of Konrad’s work I feel I can now make an accurate review of his work since I had listened to the inside info from Konrad himself out of the presentation spotlight, and seen him perform his work live. For this I am glad that I attended his showing at the Dreamland Theater.