Mountains Clouds Turbulence Coastlines | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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Mountains Clouds Turbulence Coastlines

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Wholesale Chicago's multimedia antiwar piece, directed by Dolores Wilber, is blessedly oblique and nonaccusatory. Two towering men in orange jumpsuits (Steven Thompson and Douglas Grew) repeat such odd actions as spinning a safety pin on a clothesline and pretending to cook nonfood items, including what looks like sawdust with turds in it. At times the work seems an exercise in aversion therapy, as if comically gruesome sights, simulated or on video, would turn us from our warring ways. Voice-over texts provide the piece's spirit of exploration and sense of forgiveness, especially quotes from two Middle Eastern boys, best friends, who want to be martyred together. Wholesale Chicago looks at the origins of war in boyhood friendships and ideals, even ideals of punishment. But the group packs too much into 35 minutes--the work is like a three-ring circus of allusions and images all squashed into one ring.

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