Prefaced by murderous cult leader Jim Jones appealing sarcastically to the capacity for abstract thinking of his doomed flock, Brussels-based Tzii takes us down the darkest rabbit hole to a reverse Wonderland, one that will leave Alice a crushed, pulpy corpse. (The double triptych artwork, spread across an oversize, fold-out greeting card format by Laura Tack, adds further surreal / all-too-real drama, meaning and heft to an already heavy experience.) An extended, peculiar quartet for (let´s guess) singing saw, clanking elevator cables, creaky door hinge, and rhythmic expulsions of steam seems harmless enough. But fifteen minutes in, a rushing cymbal ride evokes a frightening, plummeting feeling, joined shortly by cast iron machine stroke. Limbs akimbo, plunging ever down, deeper down into the pit, an unsnared drum accelerates the pace as men turned monsters, tortured African dancers, screaming banshees and hell-fire preachers pass by. In the end, reduced to slag on the floor of The Black Pile, all that´s left is the weeping.
Born and raised in Toronto, Stephen Fruitman has been living in northern Sweden lo these past thirty years. Writing and lecturing about art and culture as an historian of ideas since the early nineties, his articles have appeared in an number of international publications. He is also a contributing editor at Igloo Magazine.