UNLV Student in costume looking at a plush banana on a pedestal.
Aug. 11, 2023

Josephine Balfour-Oatts has given CFACoLab's IS IT ART? a five-star review in the Scotsman newspaper! 

She writes: 

"Nine characters. One gallery. An empty pedestal.

Two questions: is it the greatest work in the history of art? Or is it nothing at all? Devised by CFACoLab - a collective of actors, dancers, composers, visual artists and designers - Is It Art? is an art-lovers paradise, a theatre-goers wonderland, and almost certainly, a traditionalists nightmare.

CFACoLab possesses a very special, and very specific, aesthetic. Theatrical elements combine the expertise and knowledge of the group, and a sense of experiment and play is embedded from the get-go.

That the show also functions as a potted history of art should be unsurprising, but surprise is this company's forte, and this piece is so clever as to be dumbfounding.

Here, the performers are the palette, the paintbrushes, the paint. They are the picture, the frame. They coax artist movements, philosophical theories, and practices from obscurity, falsification, and yesteryear. Two musicians create the sound-world of the show (they underscore, and are instrumental to, the action), and each character - as well as having their own individual identity - embodies a specific colour.

There is dancing; there are Seagull onesies; a painting is painted and a painting is performed. The piece is alert to acts of spectatorship and arts criticism, too, and it also begins to theorise a future direction for art, as a form, as we know it. Is It Art? is deceptively simple, though, and makes for a delightful, quirky, and wholly unique experience. If you haven't seen it, book at once - go now. If you're lucky enough to have seen it once, double your luck - go again."

IS IT ART? from the CFACoLab is at the EDINBURGH FRINGE 2023 through August 19.

A five-star review in the Scotsman newspaper for an Edinburgh show is rather unheard of for a university performance. Coincidentally, this is the fourth five star review for UNLV!

The CFACoLab is a performance group of actors, dancers, composers, visual artists, and designers from the seven units of the UNLV College of Fine Arts. Departments represented are dance, theatre, School of Music, art, School of Architecture, film, and entertainment engineering & design.