New York

Theodora Skipitares

Inroads

There are moments of such emotional and esthetic persuasiveness in Theodora Skipitares’ most recent performance that,even though it was presented as a work in progress, it warrants discussion. For Skipitares to work with puppets is not new; her use of motorized puppets in their own detailed environments, however, is a recent development. The puppets are suggestively lifelike but only selectively animate: in one, for example, only the arm and head have mobility; the entire body of another is immobile, but that body is programmed to perform a convulsive jerk. The former is also capable of vomiting, the latter of bleeding. Both, incidentally, are portraits of women.

That the first vignette in Three Portraits and a Landscape is the most traditional in structure and content—a straightforward, albeit harrowing, monologue—is essential to Skipitares’ performance strategy. What follows the monologue

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