Before arriving at LIFT 2016, YOUARENOWHERE generated considerable buzz on tour in Slovenia, Melbourne and France, as part of PS122’s global initiative. A self-described ‘multimedia performer and designer’ based in Brooklyn, Schneider seamlessly integrates technology with live performance to create mind-bending visual trickery (the artist’s side projects into wearable technology include a Solar Bikini, which recharges your iPod while you suntan).
At times an affront to the senses, YOUARENOWHERE is a frenetic mix of personal revelation and relativity theory, enhanced by sophisticated lighting, audio and visual effects. Lacking a traditional linear narrative, the show’s enigmatic quality is prefaced by its title, which can be read as ‘You Are Nowhere’ or ‘You Are Now Here’.
At the outset, Schneider appears shirtless with white makeup reminiscent of Jack Nicholson’s The Joker. What ostensibly appears to be a one-man show performed in an intimate space with a limited set, save for a black frame rigged with LED lights, YOUARENOWHERE turns out to be a rapid fire and ramshackle meditation on alcoholism, love and quantum physics that references Einstein’s theory of the speed of light. Frenzied dialogue is interspersed with blackouts, garbled soundbites and static interference so loud it reverberates throughout the audience (there were at least a couple of walkouts on opening night).
Schneider is a charismatic, if manic performer, who occasionally breaks the fourth wall by whispering to members of the audience. A diatribe of his idiosyncratic and often contradictory personal traits elicits several laughs. Although he appears hyperactive and unpredictable on the surface, Schneider’s electrifying performance is delivered with unrivalled technical precision. Without giving away too much, there is a sensational reveal featuring a mirrored parallel world that challenges, engages and mystifies the audience in equal measure.
Although the show is now sold out, the only way to see it is by volunteering, provided you can keep a secret!
YOUARENOWHERE runs from 14 – 18 June 2016 at Assembly Hall, and is presented by Shoreditch Town Hall, Gate Theatre, Notting Hill and LIFT. Part of LIFT 2016.
By Georgia McKay