‘I am falling in love with you and it’s making me do stupid things’ @ HOME – reviewed

Credit: HOME

As I write this, I’m waiting for someone to message me back. I checked my phone before I wrote that sentence and I’ve just checked it again now. At this moment, it is inconceivable to me that my message is not of the utmost, earth-shattering importance and I can only assume that those little ticks have not yet turned blue due to some kind of intergovernmental conspiracy.

These 21st century anxieties can be maddening at the best of times, let alone during a nationwide lockdown. This state of mania is portrayed brilliantly in Bryony Kimmings’ short film ‘I am falling in love with you and it’s making me do stupid things’.

Bryony Kimmings describes herself as a performance artist, which is a term that I feel carries around some unfortunate baggage. What springs to many people’s minds when they hear ‘performance art’ is something impenetrably high brow or pretentious. Kimmings’ work is certainly strange and often disturbing, but it’s also eminently enjoyable, relatable and funny. Her previous work saw her make art while being a scientifically controlled level of drunk in ‘7 Day Drunk’ and allow a nine year old to manage her as she tried to make her fictional pop star persona actually famous in ‘Credible Likeable Superstar Role Model’.

In ‘I’m falling in love with you’, things begin prosaically enough, with Kimmings recording a short video message to someone who gave her their email address last year. ‘I’m sorry I never emailed, but I remember you were handsome and thought after we’re allowed out of our fucking houses, we could go on a date?’ In lieu of a reply, we follow Kimmings into an unexpected odyssey of follow up messages, involving a song, a dance routine and an impressive array of wigs.

The piece distills the mental turbulence of lockdown life in a neat 15 minutes. Time doesn’t so much go fast or slow, but ceases to bear any relevance. One moment, you’re happily chattering away on Zoom and the next you’re scratching at your phone screen in the grip of existential horror.

The film is part of HOME’s ‘Homemakers’ series and is available alongside new commissions from other performers with ‘pay what you feel’ access. Half of the proceeds go directly to the artists and half goes Home’s response fund, to support future artists and commissions.

One of the few things getting me through lockdown is new, interesting work being created by artists of all kinds despite unprecedented financial insecurity and I thoroughly recommend you support this and programmes like it if you can. And if you’re reading this, person who still hasn’t messaged me back, it’s been at least half an hour, what else could you possibly be doing?!