"Hand on heart, we had more fun romping through this foam wonderland than at any other performing arts event all year." Time Out award for being the best Hybrid and Experimental work in Melbourne 2012 - au.timeout.com/melbourne/theatre/features/2260/2012-a-year-in-melbourne-theatre.
The Impasse project was part of the Melbourne Festival and sponsored by Dunlop Foams. Due to popular demand, attendance quotas to Impasse were tripled. More than 600 visitors experienced the Impasse and a number of visitors returned to become 'regulars'.
Impasse was built as a fully immersive installation made from 50 blocks of foam (2.08 m wide X 2.08 m high and 1 m thick). It was composed of three main sections. The first, a long corridor in which visitors had to literally carve out a space with their bodies. The final area of the first corridor included a tower which was 9 meters high - which some visitors could not resist climbing. The second section included: a maze like catacombs that had three levels where visitors could climb and play; and two video wells - where one could watch a slow eclipse. The final section of the installation involved a fully immersive red lighting state with a black void as an ending - a mesmerizing and optically challenging space.
Written comments from the visitors included:
"At one point I noticed I had a huge grin. The space made me play like a child - I jumped and climbed before I realised that's what i was doing. It was something of my dreams, that my body could experience. Loved it. Never been so disappointed to reach an exit."
"First 10 meters changed my perspective completely. If you love science fiction this is a must see exhibition!! Great Work Tks."
"Relatively terrifying - but still smiled the whole way through - Tks."
"Intense experience. Quite exhilarating. I thought I was going to give up, but didn't. I feel like I did learn something about myself!! Hands still shaking. Face red!"
"It's like being in an ice cave without being cold. LOVED IT!! GREAT WORK!!"
"Its like being in that moment when you are waiting for the boogie man to jump out at any second...HOLD that for 15 minutes then exhale...Loved it!!!"
"Like being transported into a different dimension where I had to readjust the way I use my senses. Sublime!! Disappointed at returning to earth."
"I felt like 'Malice' in Wonderland". Great."
"The three of you, that is, Denis, William and Jeff, have one beautiful conjoined brain. I thank you for your conjoined brain."
"Wow! Such a series of sensations you go through. I enjoyed the journey from feeling helpless - only being able to move forward and being able to explore and feel reckless with my movements. Light wells and sounds were beautiful. Really enjoyed the experience thank you."
"Fantastic experience, especially knowing nothing about it beforehand. Very surreal, incredibly engaging beginning, just waiting & holding on for a 'release,' at the light & craving more space."
"Firstly, I was was so scared, I felt as if I'm in a movie, going to die...But while I'm in there, I was really excited!! Thank you for the amazing experience."
"I wanted to go higher - for some reason it came into my head that up was the way out. Confused, I found the red passage and after reaching the 'Exit' I thought I had found the emergency exit, so I weaved my way back finding a higher level but still not the way out - CRAZY FOR THE MIND!!!"