The Los Angeles Times, Why the Hammer biennial is the right show for disturbing times, June 5, 2018, Christopher Knight
New York Times, Signs of the Apocolypse……June 4, 2018, by Jori Finkel (below)
Los Angeles Times, Dance Moves Back in the Picture, June 3, 2018, by Laura Blieberg
6-channel video work and live performance was first shown in the Made in LA exhibition at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles in 2018. The film short premiered at Evolving the Forest held at Dartington Hall, Devon, UK in 2019.
In the installation, each of the 6 screens represent different stages of entropy; the dance breaks down in a way that suggests alteration of form, disintegration of the movement, movement as rubble, and finally, a place for regeneration. Both the sound, composed by Ben Shemie, and the costumes by Nancy Stella Soto shift and change for each stage of development.
In the live iterations, the dance loops are stacked end-to-end, each a stage in a sequence of transformation over 30 minutes.
A short film version is also available, which weaves each of the stages seamlessly into a 5:38 video.
Regeneration can follow a period of massive destruction. I consider this a metaphor of hope for the extreme conditions of the social, political and natural environments in which we live. The increasing ferocity of wildfires remind us that a small spark can set off a course for violent transition. In natural forest fires, this is a healthy thing– laying the ground for new, vigorous growth. In mythology, the Phoenix rises from the ashes of destruction to start a new life cycle. In today’s uneasy world, I rely on the hope that this is one of those transitional stages, and out of the rubble, something better will start to rise.
choreography and concept: Flora Wiegmann
dancers: Cheryl Banks-Smith, Rebecca Bruno, Hyosun Choi, Devika Wickremesinghe, Flora Wiegmann
costumer: Nancy Stella Soto
composer: Ben Shemie
directed by: Flora Wiegmann with Katherine Helen Fisher
edited by: Shimmy Boyle
director of photography: Ethan Coco
first AC: Michael Assous
video production: Safety Third Productions
shot at Standard Vision Studios, Los Angeles
Thank you to the Hammer Museum and c. nichols projects for the support to make this work