MARCH 2023 | Volume 225
Jani Lauzon’s Prophecy Fog is a strange and beautiful exploration of mysticism, the desecration of a holy site, and the stories stones can tell. The solo show, directed by Franco Boni, is grounded in the concrete immediacy of the rocks and pebbles that comprise Lauzon’s set, with which she gets physically intimate, and the relaxed and humorous matter-of factness with which she communicates with the audience.
The audience sits in a circle in Gateway’s Studio B, shoes off, Lauzon at the centre dressed all in white. She is surrounded by many bowls of stones which, in the course of the show’s 80 minutes, she will scatter about the circle, reveal to us her favourites and their resemblances, and physically interact with them: arranging them in small piles, walking barefoot on them, lying among them. She uses the stones to illustrate her stories like a child would use her toys.
“Stones are the skins of another earth,” her mother told her. She also told her, “We are star people.” These remarks become the basis of the central tale Lauzon tells of Giant Rock, a sacred Indigenous site in the Mojave Desert that serves as a portal to the spirit world, an easel for appalling racist and politically offensive graffiti, and a medium of communication with aliens according to an entrepreneurial white man who builds his own monument upon it and claims to speak and meet with them.Designer Melissa Joakim’s evocative projections and soundscape help vivify the experience, and Lauzon sometimes sings and plays a wooden flute. But the effectiveness of the evening relies primarily on Lauzon’s warm, intimate presence as she narrates her own deeply felt connection with the earth, even more than with the fogs of prophecy.
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