Aishla Manning takes a page from the book of Rihanna and work work work work works in Making Puddles. Desperately futile and futilely desperate, Making Puddles reads as a modern retelling of the ‘Myth of Sisyphus’. Instead of a boulder, Manning struggles to carry the hefty weight of a balloon filled with water. Instead of sinuous arms and muscular back burdened with rock, Manning’s tool of choice is mass produced in a plastics factory, tied to a long protruding stick and flailed around in the general direction of the proverbial ‘boulder’. Instead of a treacherous slope, Manning is faced with the well traversed the stairs of a share house. And instead of being punished to a lifetime of monotonous backbreaking labour, Manning has self-afflicted this act of pointlessness. Manning works. The work works. And in turn we are asked to work, to endure, to persist, to see this work to its natural end.
Measuring a tension between funny and sad – the work is ripe with anxiety, frustration and resistance. Prepare for your expectations to be met; refreshingly the work does exactly what you anticipate it to. Things that go up must come down and although it takes the better half of what you think might be close to a waste of your time, come down they do. Experience the struggle for yourself.
By Caity Reynolds
Oral ARI: 57 Victoria St, Kelvin Grove, Brisbane