Wall text served as dance instructions for participating choreographers including: Rebecca Bruno, Margherita Elliot, Busy Gagnes, Jil Stein, Christine Suarez, Lisa Wahlander, Alexa Weir, Allison Wyper, and Flora Wiegmann. Each worked individually to create repeatable dances based on each text. The closing reception allowed for each interpretation to be showcased side-by-side, resulting performances containing obvious artistic difference and surprising similarities.
After a few seconds they’ve come to a tactical decision and they begin to do what they can, to buzz and try to lift themselves.
For FLY, Wiegmann and Ruperto have conceived of a work that uses six performers to reenact Flypaper by Robert Musil (1880-1942). Musil’s essay Flypaper painstakingly describes the struggle and incipient death of an unlucky housefly stuck upon a ribbon of flypaper. In a new adaptation, Flora Wiegmann has choreographed six dancers to move as fly appendages, reenacting the plight of Musil’s creature. Pauses in the dance score open to a lenticular LCD screen. Mounted on a plinth, it displays an insectile animation mirroring the choreography. In these various registers of scale that begin with Musil’s fly, corporeal movement is staged, captured and distributed in separate approximations of size, form and life force.
In order to make this work, six dancers’ movements were recorded in a motion capture studio and eventually assigned to a digital model of a house fly. The resulting video is a life-sized image of a fly, powered by human action.
The video features the movements by three individuals (Jacinto Astiazaran, Fritz Haeg and Flora Wiegmann) taking place in three distinct zones of the LACMA campus: La Brea Park, LACMA plaza, BCAMA.
The video was produced on the occasion of the Machine Project Field Guide to LACMA on Satuday, November 15th, 2008
Video by Jacinto Astiazaran
Black Box/White Cube is a dual-screen projection of two 16mm films of a dancing body, performing a single movement phrase, mirrored within two specific spaces, the black box of the theater and the white cube of the gallery. These two spaces, sites of performance for at least the last 40 years, locate nuanced sets of rules that inscribe specific conventions upon all they contain. Black Box/White Cube, through a filmed examination of choreographed movement within those walls, re-presents those rules in an effort to re-inscribe those conventions; laying bare the subjective and thus socio-political limits of any action realized within the boundaries of any institution.
As the performer marks the boundaries of the space, initially through a pacing of the perimeter, she calls attention to the edges of each space. The theatrical stage suspends belief in these boundaries, witnessed in brief disappearing acts into the wings. The white walls of the gallery become very real spatial limitations, on which the body can lean, slide against or crumple into. As it progresses, the movement suggests spatial reference points (corners, walls, ceiling) whose variable distances from a perceived architectural center are echoed by shoulders, hips, thighbones, and their relationship with the torso.
The movement, though tempered by various aspects of each space, remains contained by both, punctuated only by slippage inherent in the film medium itself (light leak, over/under exposure, and non-synchronous sound) that pronounce the use of this archaic form of capturing an image of an archaic form of movement. Both are reflective of a period of art-making and dance that forty years ago sought an expanded field, an exploded boundary, and now are conventions of their own.