Adelaide Festival

Adelaide Festival Review: Sex and Death_ and the Internet

Utilising modern-day technology, Australian artist Samara Hersch forges emotional connections between strangers, while illuminating our opinions on aging, mortality, love, heartbreak, pain and pleasure.

4

Presented by Samara Hersch
Reviewed 11 March 2022

Utilising modern-day technology, Melbourne-based artist Samara Hersch forges emotional connections between strangers, while illuminating our opinions on aging, mortality, love, heartbreak, pain and pleasure.

If you had the ability to go back in time, what kind of advice would you give a younger version of yourself? Melbourne artist Samara Hersch takes this question to her audience, and then provides them with the opportunity to connect with her and share their thoughts, feelings, memories, emotions and the opinions that are shaped by all of these.

The show begins with a clever technological feature, utilising humbling recordings of children between the ages of eight and eleven to soften the emotional walls we hold strong to protect us in day-to-day life. These children eagerly answer questions about self-talk, self-image, their dreams for the future and their varying opinions on aging. The audience member is then ushered into another private room with a simple set, and one that is almost futuristic. Within walls draped in light material a soft, white pathway guides you down an elongated room towards a desk which contains a computer screen, keyboard, mouse and notepad. Once your headphones are on, a voice greets you, and your journey with a stranger begins.

In today’s day and age having an emotional connection with a total stranger and opening up to them about your vulnerabilities and personal values is not a common occurrence, despite us having worldwide technical connection via the internet. Sex and Death_ and the Internet is not like other interactive theatre experiences. It does not simply rely on voyeuristic participation, but also requires its audience to give themselves to this personal and intimate experience. You are a participant and a very important part of the event’s structure and therefore have the power to make the 45 minutes of potential connection memorable, educational and moving. Samara’s questions influence you to turn inwards and reflect on your morals and values in regards to themes of mortality, aging, love, heartbreak, pain and prosperity.

Take the plunge and open yourself up to a strange, new and unique experience with the utilisation of modern-day technology and enjoy the potential self-reflection that combines with connection between strangers.

Reviewed by Georgina Smerd

Venue: Level 4, Union House, University of Adelaide (Enter via Gate 13 on Kintore Ave and follow the AF signs to Union House)
Season:  9 Mar – 20 March, Multiple sessions between 11am and 7.30pm daily
Duration: 40 mins (no interval)
Tickets:  $25 – $29
Bookings: https://www.adelaidefestival.com.au/events/sex-and-death-and-the-internet/

Rating out of 5: 4

Photo Credit: Roy Vandervegt

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