Kaleidoscope is a maze of mirrors that had me totally flummoxed. Set up in the forecourt of Arts Centre Melbourne, the outside multicoloured panels give you not a jot of an idea of what awaits you inside. Long vertical mirrors greet you at every turn. Rotating prisms, mood lighting and music add to the experience.
As you meander your way along a winding, circuitous pathway, you confront – “yes”, you guessed it – a mirrored wall … and then another and another. Roadblock after roadblock. The roof is open, so you are exposed to the elements. I went in the evening and when I looked up, I could see a wall of the NGV and the Arts Centre spire against the night sky.
Kaleidoscope is the work of Keith Courtney, one of the brains behind House of Mirrors and 1000 Doors, which featured in the Arts Centre forecourt in 2017 and 2018 respectively. This piece has been developed in collaboration with visual artist Ash Keating, composer Tamil Rogeon and artist Samatha Slicer.
Kaleidoscope is heaps of fun for children and adults of all ages. The smiles on people’s faces speaks volumes. Photos and videos aplenty are taken. Head on, you see reflections of yourself from several angles. I was reminded of the playful expression “which witch is which?” Perhaps, instead, I should be considering whether this is what successful human cloning would look like. I doff my cap to Dolly the sheep (even though she has passed on).
Of course, the nature of a good maze is that it effectively ties you up in knots. That is Kaleidoscope to a tee. Try as I did, I couldn’t find the exit and eventually resorted to asking an attendant for the way out. If perception is reality, I am still having visions … in triplicate.
Kaleidoscope will remain a fixture in the forecourt of Arts Centre Melbourne until 10th July, 2022. It is open daily from midday until 10pm, with final entry each day at 9:30pm. Children five and under, and adults 75 and over enter for free. For anyone in between, a ticket costs $15.
Kaleidoscope will be reassembled at the Brisbane Powerhouse from 11th August to 3rd October, before touring internationally.
Other reviews you might enjoy:
- Hello Dolly! (The Production Co) – theatre review
- The Picture of Dorian Gray (Arts Centre Melbourne) – theatre review
- Vigil (Arts Centre Melbourne) – theatre review
Alex First is a Melbourne based journalist and communications specialist. He contributes to The Blurb on film and theatre.