Avant garde theater artist and dazzling jugglers close TBA festival
By Brett Campbell
October 2, 2016
“There certainly is a lot of stuff here,” Rinde Eckert mused aloud as he gazed around the cluttered stage at the outset of My Fools, his retrospective show that highlighted the closing night of this year’s Time Based Arts Festival. Framed by a desk on one end and a piano on the other, the stage at Portland’s Winningstad Theater boasted costumes, props of various species, a projection screen, MacBook, rows of little cards mounted on sticks that he carried to each “station” on the stage as he performed there, and above all a wide array of musical instruments. All attested to the New York based solo performer’s vast range of skills and artistic creations. For the next hour, we wondered: with all that stuff strewn about, what was he going to do next?
If anyone is entitled to a Greatest Hits show, it’s Eckert, the supremely versatile singer/writer/instrumentalist/performer/director who, over three decades and more than five dozen works (averaging two per year) has been making some of the era’s most original performance art. We soon realized that the busy stage was meant to evoke the multidisciplinary artist’s fecund career, and possibly his richly furnished mind. So, yes, a lot of stuff indeed...