Yves Klein Wannabe
Yves klein Wannabe - Experimental Performance
Yves Klein Wannabe explores how the concept of the painter and the dancer live in the mediated world of technology today. The two visual languages of dance and paint often compete with one another in my world, in the sense that determining which aspects of their respective qualities become more or less visible in the production of an art work often remains a challenging aspect of my practice, identity and language in general. Absorbing the window motif and appropriating the language of video however, enabled me to invent a new space where I could implicate the body, paint and movement in a different way; a way that considers the renewed properties of the transient window space (movement in particular) and consciously adopt paint in order better to frame my identity as multiple and complex.
The performance takes place on an all white window-shaped sheet of canvas positioned on the floor. I have positioned a camera above the white canvas, activated by remote control. The camera feeds to a live projection displayed on an opposing wall of the canvas, which depicts the performer performing from above. The performance is a collaboration with another dancer Yarisha Singh (as I am currently unable to perform). Together we choreographed a contemporary dance piece, which had the limitations of paint, floor size and individual influences.
The image is created by choreographing movement in conjunction with paint. The way the addition and reduction of the paint manifests, is specific to the way Yarisha moves her body. The performance was quite aggressive and filled with sharp accents where Yarisha would throw herself to the ground and then slowly and tenderly make her way back up to a standing position. In other words, her physical dynamic can be described as extremely intense with short, sharp jolts and aggressive thrusts, which are then tempered by very slow and controlled movements.
My position in terms of choreography had more to do with directing her volatile movement into the imagery. Guiding her body as if she were in the painting. The collaboration of Yarisha’s particular movement and my specific direction resulted in a few interesting manifestations. Namely, the effect of the live presence of the performer as she danced with the paint (her energy), the residual paint marks which are extremely gestural and reminiscent of Jackson Pollock or Yves Klein paintings, the effect of the simultaneous birds eye view video projection which is displayed on the opposite wall next to the floor canvas and captures the entire piece from an alternate angle both during the performance and then loops it once again after the performer has left the space. This process reveals how identity can be active in redefining itself all the time
The piece is an example of how I perceive my personal adoption of the concept of a metaphorical window space as an active space. In Artist vs. Artist 2014 this rectangular window space appears simultaneously in a two-dimensional format (video) as well as three-dimensional format through the activation of the floor and wall spaces, which again is framed by the actual building space. The artwork therefore reflects on how space is transient and is an attempt to activate movement (through various technical supports) as the predominant link to understanding the traffic in and out of these window spaces or rather the struggle between our physical and social bodies.
Yves Klein Wannabe is a performance, as well as a reflection on the performative act of interacting. It explores how I relate the convergence of languages in one space to the interrelated complexity of the world. In this way painting in relation to somatic experience does become intrinsic to translating our multi-dimensional way of being in a world.I believe that the process of painting today considers the fact that technological tools (computers, cameras, apps, programs, etc.) not only complicate physicality but also deepen the concept of the transient window space. Within these new window spaces, the bipolar concepts of inner and outer, world and self, visible and invisible, beyond and within, fragment and whole are absorbed, reproduced and importantly enacted within the window itself, exposing the body (as I have attempted to represent in Yves Klein Wannabe) as a vehicle that can process and display a variety of perspectives.
Interaction therefore does not only consider the reflective, transient glass window, screen or the lens, but also the ‘act of’ – for example, Google-searching information, viewing an artwork, making a painting or producing and uploading a video. It is a more layered and complex form of interaction, heavily focused on communication, movement and mediation. These terms suggest an active engagement of some kind and, in light of my experience as a dancer, and subsequent interest in the relation between movement and painting, influence how I develop a new way of ascribing value to my painting practice. As my practice demonstrates, I understand it to function in this capacity as a kind of visual translator, acting discursively between media.
My practice is partial to swapping between properties specific to glass (in the form of mirrors, lenses, LCD screens, windows), and the body as an active co-conspirator in challenging the language of painting. Yves Klein Wannabe recognises that our world today is a combined choreography that regularly switches between interacting via screens and face-to-face bodily contact. It therefore explores how painting can function either as an element performing in the tensions between these positions, or reflecting on their performative engagement, which at one moment understands interaction as immediate and reactive, and the next as measured and reflective.
Why the focus on the performative tension between bodily relations, spaces, and visual languages? Because ultimately the concept of straight-forward observation and interpretation, as in the tradition of easel painting or point and shoot photography, cannot contain the sense of entanglement between languages, time, space, intimacy, drama and diversity apparent in our society today.