Geddy Aniksdal’s performance My Life as a Man surprised, refreshed, and gently doused the Rampa stage with Miłosław*. In our small bubble in Goleniów, the artist created an atmosphere that made you want to sit down and chat, which I (of course) did, and she told me about how she sometimes laughs at funerals.
I am performing a man. And that is my father, my brother, all of my uncles and I am just like, yes, finally! And we, in fact, went travelling with this performance, many places, we also went to my father’s and brother’s workplace. Where I could use my father’s workbench. And I also use the jacket, my father’s jacket, which is the blue one you could see on stage.
By connecting to her family history, Geddy Aniksdal has produced a range of characters whose portrayal is perversely realistic and incredibly convincing. She has also shown the traits of the environment that she grew up in, that shaped her. At first, it is simply funny, the alleged distance between Norway and Poland disappearing as we see how comically similar we are. The more serious moments, on the other hand, take the viewer by surprise. Connected with the mimetic performance it produces a monumentally moving effect.
Some people say that the old-fashioned ways of entertaining people are both very funny and very sad. I think of it a bit like this: I laughed a lot at funerals. Because that’s what it’s like when you’re remembering something funny, when you’re just remembering.
Aniksdal, besides showcasing her incredible physical comedy skills and movement quality at the Goleniów Ramp, reminded us of the power of sincere storytelling. The artist refers to herself as a boyish woman, she identifies herself in this way and adds that it could not be said differently. The trickery of her gender expression refreshes and draws us into her rich, full world, and the ease in evoking images captivates us with its approachability and openness, telling beautiful stories.
Showing incredible craftsmanship and disarming artistic expression builds an incredibly convincing little world, one in which we want to exist for as long as Geddy Aniksdal lets us. Let yourself be welcomed in. I could write a longer text. Instead, I encourage you to talk to the artists. Watch Grenland Friteater’s second performance today and have a chat with the artists. Just like that.
*at the occasion of a thanksgiving toast with an anonymous volunteer