Arts preview: “This World Made Itself” immerses audience in a multimedia dream-world

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From the October 31, 2013 edition

Miwa Matreyek doesn’t want you to watch her performance, “This World Made Itself,” she wants you to feel it.

The California-based multimedia artist debuts her latest work at the Wexner Center for the Arts on Oct. 31.

“[The performance] starts with the pre-history of the Earth and evolves into a narrative about the complicated relationships humans have with the Earth and themselves,” Matreyek said during a phone interview earlier this week. “It explores the concept of humans creating their own problems.”

Matreyek’s performances combine projection, animation, music and the artist’s own shadow to create a complex and immersive dream-scape for the viewer, giving the audience the sense they are interacting with the world she has created.

“I want to evoke the sense of weightlessness — I want to help [the audience] transcend where they actually are,” Matreyek said. “By incorporating my body into the piece, the audience is taking on a visceral sense of this dream-world. I hope they take something away from it emotionally.”

Matreyek’s unique approach to performance art is rooted in her collage-making background.

“I started putting my collages into the computer, and making them move using Flash and AfterEffects. My work is basically just a moving collage of photography, drawn elements, video, sound textures, and my own shadow,” she said.

After two years of work, Matreyek is ready to bring her vision to life for the first time. Columbus is the lucky recipient of this world premiere (Matreyek will also perform her past piece, “Myth and Infrastructure” through her stay here).

“I’m so excited to share it with the audience,” she said. “I was working on it all the way up until [last] Sunday. I feel like the piece is finally at a place where it feels complete and full. I’ve shown it as a work-in-progress to my friends and colleagues, and though I’ve received mixed reactions, but all of them have taken something away from it emotionally. That is what I want for the audience.”