In my previous piece Imp, I projected 35mm slides of rorschach images onto my back. As a development of this I wanted to introduce the element of movement to these images. I created film versions of Rorschach prints using ink and water. I then mirrored the footage to mimic the layout of the original Rorschach images. I was careful to maintain the organic qualities of the slides, as I felt the way the previous images melded into the skin was important to enforce the unity between body and projection.
I also made sure to maintain a balance of light and dark, so that there is a clear contrast in the when projected on the body. The dark elements of the film will cast shadows, deleting and obliterating areas of the body.
The performance of this film is intended to be durational, with this in mind I was careful to keep a deliberate pace to the movement of the ink. There are moments when there is no movement in the ink and it is just a still black or white image. This stillness will be contrasted with erratic and relentless movement, as discussed in my ides for movement progression.
Adara Sánchez Anguiano
Adara Sánchez Anguiano is a Spanish illustrator who studied Fine Art. His drawings create delicate, fragile and bony impressions of the human body, similar to the artist Egon Schiele’s spindly style.
His series Take Off Your Clothes is particularly relevant to my own practise. Through the medium of drawing he creates empty space through the body, where the clothes should be. This isolation of limbs and the use of absence relate to my methods of obliterating areas of the body through materials to create a new, strange physique.
He also captures the fragile nature of the human body that I am working to portray in my own work. By highlighting spine, hip bones and ribs his visions of the human body appear beautifully breakable. I want to create a similar sense of fragility within my performance work. I aim to use costume to make the body appear small and vulnerable. This will then be combined with movement to further enhance the frailty of the body.
Adara at Cargo Collective
Chinese Water Sleeves (Shuixiu)
I have been researching Chinese and Asian dance as an exploration of my own ethnicity and have discovered Chinese Water Sleeves Dance or Shuixiu. The dance involves using extremely long sleeves to exaggerate movement and create beautiful, fluid effects. I want to use water sleeves as a tool within my movement work.
They will simultaneously represent my own Chinese origins (and the auto biographical nature of my exploration) as well as being suggestive of a straitjacket and my interest in anxiety and mental illness. In addition to this they are extensions of the body which change and abstract the human form. I think they will create a really interesting movement quality when combined with my ideas for my movement progression.
Visually the sleeves remind of the Rebecca Horn, Arm Extensions (1968) which alters the form of the body through creating thick upright structures around the arms. I am inspired by this contemporary use of a similar technique.
I first encountered water sleeves within the movie House of Flying Daggers which I was very struck by. The movie represented for me a beautiful exploration of Chinese culture and inspired and fascinated me. The imagery, use of colour and the general cinematography felt distinctly influenced by Chinese culture. I would like to achieve a similar recognizability within my work.
Lily Cai Dance
I have decided that I want movement to be a more instrumental aspect within my work. Over the summer I have been working on short improvised movement sequences. Within these I have been working with the body in an instinctive way, by creating movement in the moment. I have been loosely inspired by Chinese dance and gestures and these have been incorporated within the choreographies.
I want to develop my choreographies further by making the movement bolder and riskier. Thus far I have been moving in a contemporary style and have stayed within my own comfort zone. I have been conscious to try to perform moves ‘correctly’ and ‘technically’ to the best of my ability. I want to explode this idea and work with movement that is more ferocious and relentless and dangerous.
In my performance work I am interested in using movements of stillness and non-movement and contrasting this with unrelenting and exhaustive movement. This process of wearing-myself-out will be relate to the tiring cycles of anxiety and mania. It will reflect the process of sudden energy and need to be active, productive and dynamic against the counter action of becoming exhausted, the sense of uselessness and the need for rest.
I am inspired by the section within Pina Bausch’s Cafe Müller, where a male dancer is made to pick up a female dancer and repeatedly drops her. The exhaustiveness and relentlessness of the repeated action is powerfully shocking. It builds with speed and intensity and becomes both transfixing and horrifying.
Thom Browne SS14
Fashion designer Thom Browne’s Spring/Summer 2014 runway show took inspiration from mental asylums and insanity as well as utilising performative techniques to interact with the audience.
Visually the show created an eerie atmosphere through an almost installation-like transformation of the room, with padded walls a harsh tiled floors the room became a clinical and sinister setting.
The audience were made to wait an unnerving 45 minutes with nothing but tinkling, out timed sound effects for company until the show finally commenced. This state on unease acted to establish an edgy and tense atmosphere for the show. The models slowly and hauntingly moved along the runway, like broken, possessed dolls.
The key moment in the show for me is the point where the front row were administered white pills by the models-cum-nurses. This action flipped the roles and rather than the models being the insane figures, it was instead the audience who became the insane witnesses of the hallucination, in need of treatment.
This method of playing with role, responsibly and expectation is really interesting to me and is something that has inspired me within my own practise.
Nelly Agassi is an Israeli artist who works with using the body, installation, performance, video and sculpture. She explores the female body, in particular it’s relationship to space and transformation of space.
Her work resonates with me in it’s ability to create a sense of isolation and intimacy. She presents the female body as being vulnerable, exposed and alone, yet invites a closeness that emits a sense of intimacy.
I am interested in how she presents the body within an installation and uses it simultaneously mark absence and presence. The isolation of the body in the space in particular relation to the scale of the space is completely transformative. For instance in her piece, Bedroom her tiny frame is engulf and almost lost in amongst a giant scale bed. This creates a loneliness and in relation to my own practise an image of being overwhelmed. The sheer scale of the installation, when juxtaposed to the her body communicates a sense of human fragility.
Her piece, Innermost does the polar opposite. The body is incased in a small, constricting case, which only allows the performer to lie curled in the foetal position. This forceful restriction upon the body, within the claustrophobic space again creates a sense of isolation and vulnerability, as well a strange intimacy. In respect to my own work, I am interested in her method of containing the body and how she uses the restricted body to communicate and connect with the audience.