ST/LL opens on a stage with a long set table, perpendicularly to the orchestra, under the eyes of the audience; on the sides of the table there are some chairs. On the background, coinciding with the inner extremity of the table, there is a projection screen developing vertically, like a painting that evokes the Japanese pictorial tradition. The perimeter of the stage is covered with a veil of water, in which everything reverberates. The whole visual structure of the work develops all around this diaphanous dimension. A man enters the scene and carries out actions on the table: he moves the cutlery, changes the position of the chairs, makes tiny gestures, which let the audience foretell that an action played on the visible will develop. To the sound of a metronome, two women and then a third one enter the scene and sit at the table making gestures that imitate a meal without food.
Measuring 30m x 30m x 2.4m and featuring LED lights and 8 audio channels, Frame Perspective transforms a cavernous space at the Maison de la Région. On specific dates throughout the Constellations festival Ratsi has prepared a light programme in the space, accompanied by a sound composition played by Thomas Vaquié (see the festival programme for more details). Frame Perspective continues Ratsi’s interrogation of reality through the creation of exploratory and peripheral spaces. The installation’s repeating forms create new dimensions in the Maison de la Région, interrupting the lines of the architecture. Meanwhile the composition of interacting lights and sounds disrupts the sonic and visual textures of the space and resonates with the visitor on uncharted frequencies. The effect is to immerse the visitor into a fluctuating environment which connects digital technologies with physical spaces and raises questions about how reality is constructed and experienced in digital, physical and other realms.
REVITAL COHEN & TUUR VAN BALEN
A number of life-support machines are connected to each other, circulating liquids and air in attempt to mimic a biological structure.
The Immortal investigates human dependence on electronics, the desire to make machines replicate organisms and our perception of anatomy as reflected by biomedical engineering.
A web of tubes and electric cords are interwoven in closed circuits through a Heart-Lung Machine, Dialysis Machine, an Infant Incubator, a Mechanical Ventilator and an Intraoperative Cell Salvage Machine. The organ replacement machines operate in orchestrated loops, keeping each other alive through circulation of electrical impulses, oxygen and artificial blood.
Salted water acts as blood replacement: throughout the artificial circulatory system minerals are added and filtered out again, the blood gets oxygenated via contact with the oxygen cycle, and an ECG device monitors the system’s heartbeat. As the fluid pumps around the room in a meditative pulse, the sound of mechanical breath and slow humming of motors resonates in the body through a comforting yet disquieting soundscape.Life support machines are extraordinary devices; computers designed to activate our bodies when anatomy fails, hidden away in hospital wards. Although they are designed as the ultimate utilitarian appliances, they are extremely meaningful and carry a complex social, cultural and ethical subtext. While life prolonging technologies are invented as emergency measures to combat or delay death, my interest lies in considering these devices as a human enhancement strategy.This work is a continuation of my investigation of the patient as a cyborg, questioning the relationship between medicine and techno- fantasies about mechanical bodies, hyper abilities and posthumanism.
The unspeakable openness of things
The title of the exhibition, The unspeakable openness of things, is a phrase that philosopher Timothy Morton uses when describing art and it resonates strongly with the artist. Eliasson describes how “Art exists both in and beyond the realm of language. Before the form of an artwork emerges, there’s a not-quite-graspable feeling that flows into the artistic process – and that remains in the finished work as something that cannot be fully expressed. At the same time, the artwork is fundamentally open to visitors. It is ready to listen to them, and able to host their questions and experiences.”
Founded by choreographer Andrea Miller, Gallim Dance burst onto the New York dance scene in 2007 and immediately caught the attention of the New York dance community. The company includes an ensemble of dancers hailed for their quick wit and technical virtuosity. The mission of Gallim Dance is to play inside the imagination, to find juxtapositions of the mind and body that resonate in the soul, to investigate our limitations and pleasures, and to realize the endless human capacity for inspiration.
The great epic work of ancient Greek poetry tells the story of Odysseus’s journey home after the Trojan War and what happens when the hero arrives at Ithaca. It is a transcendental tale that has always been the symbolic text par excellence about human adventure and the wanderings of existence in a harsh but exciting world.
Robert Wilson’s encounter with Homer is one of the major artistic events of this season. One of the most influential and acclaimed artists in world theatre brings his own unique approach to the material. The sensitivity, inventiveness and imagination of the great American director resonate with the Homeric spirit, creating a spellbinding new theatrical language. Eighteen carefully chosen performers and Wilson’s own internationally renowned collaborators bring all their artistry to bear on this unique venture, which is intended for all audiences, regardless of age or experience of the theatre.
Using both sculpture and musical performance in his practice, Kevin Beasley explores the physical materiality and cultural connotations of both objects and sound. His sculptures typically incorporate everyday items like clothing, housewares, or sporting goods, bound together using tar, foam, resin, or other materials. Often they also contain embedded audio equipment that warps and amplifies the ambient tones of their surroundings. For Storylines, Beasley has created two new works specifically for the Guggenheim’s Frank Lloyd Wright–designed building. Within this vast and open sonic environment, Strange Fruit (Pair 1) and Strange Fruit (Pair 2) (both 2015) offer an experience of intimacy, absorbing and reflecting the sound of the crowd at the scale of a personal conversation. Each work embodies this spirit of dialogue in its two-part structure—at its core are two athletic shoes, one merged with microphones, the other with speakers. Suspending these objects in space, Beasley compounds their technological interchange with additional layers of meaning, bringing to mind the urban phenomenon of shoes hanging from overhead wires or poles (itself an open-ended form of communication). At the same time the works’ titles refer to history of lynchings in the American South memorialized by Bronx schoolteacher Abel Meerepol in the 1937 protest song “Strange Fruit.” In these contexts, the hanging forms of Beasley’s sculptures resonate not only with his body, which molded them by hand, or with the bodies moving through the museum, but also with those inscribed in the problematic history of race and class in the United States.