Justice Yeldham & the Dynamic Ribbon Device | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Justice Yeldham & the Dynamic Ribbon Device 

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A performance by Justice Yeldham & the Dynamic Ribbon Device, aka Australian noise artist Lucas Abela, is as hair-raising as fingernails on a chalkboard. But in this case the fingernails are his face and the chalkboard is a pane of glass, which is rigged with a contact mike that's attached to a belt girded with effects pedals. After squirting KY Jelly on his face and into his mouth, Abela rubs the glass across his face with varying degrees of pressure while blowing, screaming, and sucking. Moving the glass changes its pitch, but it also begins to slice his T-shirt, and blood soon trickles down his chest. During at least one performance--and I'm getting queasy just writing this--he bit off chunks of the glass, spat them onto his "instrument," and rubbed the shards against his face, mixing lube and snot and blood. Different viscosities produce different sonic results: a gurgling chain saw, a retching bulimic, asphyxiation, a drag race, a squealing dental vacuum. The most disturbing part of all this is that Abela periodically laughs through his moans as if he's making fun of his own pain--a torturer mocking his captive. It's not boring like most one-man noise shows, I'll give him that. But what a fucking sicko! Dave Phillips and I (heart) Presets open. Wed 3/30, 9 PM, Buddy, 1542 N. Milwaukee, 773-342-7332, $7. All ages.

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