The work of Kimberlee Koym-Murteira is steeped in the theatrical. Step behind the curtain, watch the worlds contained in refracted proscenium squares, the details of life, the everyday details of everyday life siphoned down to immediate basic human gesture, to the idea of home. Someone folds laundry, a man shaves his head, a woman hands an orange to a child. Observe their everyday in a pristine projected square. Then seek their movements fleeting through a curtain resembling water. Their aftermath is shadows shifting on surrounding walls, the ambient feeling of home, that shift of light through a window. A car passes by. Wind moves a tree branch. A curtain billows and retreats. At the outset, the moments contained in Koym-Murteira’s images and refracted images may seem toss-aways, lost moments of life. But the spectator must fixate on these moments and their potentialities for beauty in human gesture. The most basic actions of daily life become precious, become images of resilience rather than, or rather through, banality.
Koym-Murteira has a background in theatrical design, evident in the performative nature of the pieces presented here. The performance takes place in the body of the spectator, moving through a world simultaneously familiar and unfamiliar, experiencing everyday objects of the home in a new light, transformed and responsive, breathing and seemingly alive. A plastic tower resembles ice and human breath, a glass jar overflows with iridescent bubbles, a clear curtain of liquid shifts in air in response to human movement. These objects, endowed with breath and heat, are constructed of the discarded disregarded, of plastic refuse otherwise left for dead in trash graveyards. Here they are presented toxic and vivid, reminders of the inherent power and necessary resilience of the everyday existence of home.
Abi Basch is a playwright, theater director, and the artistic director of German/American physical theater company Kinderdeutsch Projekts. www.kinderdeutsch.org She is an artistic collaborator of Kimberlee Koym-Murteira.