24th, 25th October 2014
‘Reclining Figure (2014)’
@ Tate Britain BP Walking through British Art
I am a dance maker who has a sewing machine but no specific training in making costumes. However I made 24 costumes for this project! Day and night, I sewed straight lines to make the stretchy rectangles.
All for love and smiles.
I’ve always loved Henry Moore’s work, it is abstract yet so expressive and communicates with our feelings beyond the level of language. I feel that my work operates in the similar way through the body. When I was offered to make ‘audience participatory interactive work’ for Tate family festival, I sat in the room filled with Henry Moore’s sculptures for a couple of hours, I got the image in my head and I knew it would visually work. The key was how to facilitate the public to immerse themselves in the whole experience and perceive the cohesion of the stillness (Moore’s work) and movement (my work) in the space.
When Moore’s niece asked why his sculptures had such simple titles, he replied, “All art should have a certain mystery and should make demands on the spectator. Giving a sculpture or a drawing too explicit a title takes away part of that mystery so that the spectator moves on to the next object, making no effort to ponder the meaning of what he has just seen. Everyone thinks that he or she looks but they don’t really, you know.”
I am interested in the moment to ‘ponder’, questioning ‘What it could be?’ ‘What sort of personality or feeling?’ The project provides an opportunity for the public to see the work and be as objects in the room. When experiencing the costumes and the feeling of becoming ‘something else’, especially facial expressions being taken away, the expressions and communications become vague. Yet some essential qualities or signature actions were emphasised by the restrictedness. By using the idea of being totally masked, we enable the participants to loose self-consciousness and ego, which might be a method to encounter our real expressions beyond our personas.
Special collaborator Dougie Evans (Sound and video)
Laura Pena Nunez (Dance)
Luke Birch (Dance)