Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Palestinian Riham Isaac presents an enchanting hour of performance art on the subject of love through song, dance, interviews and video montage.The one-woman show is mostly visual with high interaction with a precisely curated set. The audio elements are celebratory and mostly in Arabic, which feels like a political statement in itself. Ritualised sequences accompany a feeling of catharsis as we watch Isaac grapple with her discourse. The pace of the show gives the audience ample opportunity to reflect for ourselves our own experiences with love.
Through the different sections, love is presented as enigmatic, dizzying, ecstatic, painful, delirious, comforting, fleeting, ubiquitous, rare, specific and universal all at once. Whether you are hopelessly in love or nursing heartbreak, there is a message here for everyone.
Reminiscent of feminist art of the 70’s, I am reminded of Marina Abramović and Carolee Schneemann in the way that Isaac uses her body, costumes and multimedia to share her personal experience of love as a way to challenge audiences. Isaac’s one-woman show is more alluring however as she leans into her femininity more than she exaggerates it. The performance has an inquisitive pondering tone to it. Another Lovers Discourse lacks the urgency of her radical predecessors as she is not so much interested in shocking audiences as she is in sharing her experiences with the intention of healing. Isaac is inviting, rather than provoking viewers to consider their own view on a fraught and complicated subject.
Isaac sings, dances and recites. She operates live cameras and queues video content which project onto a sheet of fabric at the back, onto a large portrait screen of plays on an old school television box. Ceremonious and full of symbolism Riham Isaac is a gifted visionary pulling together different artforms to create a surrealist collage dedicated to a subject we’d all benefit from speaking about more – love.
By Tasnim Siddiqa Amin
Follow Tasnim on Instagram: @tasnimsiddiqaamin & WordPress.
Another Lover’s Discourse was shown from Tuesday 7th until Saturday 11th February 2023 at the Studio as part of this year’s Vault Festival. To find out more about the production, visit here…
To read our interview with multi-disciplinary artist Riham Isaac, visit here…