Woodhouse, Angela ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4403-6323 and Rackowe, Nathaniel (2016) (Un)touched. [Performance]

Image (JPEG) ((Un)touched performance dancers Stine Nilsen & Martina Conti :) - Final accepted version (with author's formatting)
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Image (JPEG) ((Un)touched performance dancers Stine Nilsen & Maetina Conti: photo Brian Slater) - Final accepted version (with author's formatting)
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Un(touched) is a diptych that explores intimacy and separation as simultaneous events. The audience are invited to inhabit two separate but related sculptures incorporating glass, fluorescent tubes and steel mesh. Our question is how can division allow for intimate encounters?
The project encompasses two distinct but related works. Each explores simultaneous experiences (and contradictions) of intimacy and distance. Both implicate the audience in the experience in differing ways. For the first work Nathaniel has created a corridor- like structure that allows for multiple viewing points from outside, within, and through. The glass becomes either transparent or reflective depending on the sequencing of fluorescent lights attached to the steelwork shifting the accent abruptly from a conversation with another to the isolation with ones’ own reflection. Performers and viewers together become part of a visual schema. There is a sense of voyeurism and distanced views, which become checked in the gaze of others seeing you or you viewing others being viewed. The sense of dialogue is replicated and layered. The dancers can only relate to each other through the glass and this division remains a constant. Paradoxically the surface that divides allows for greater risk in their increasingly intimate relationship. Despite this drive to achieve intimacy it can never be realised.
The second work presents a platform onto which the viewers are invited to walk. Submerged beneath are the two same performers, whose presence is revealed depending on the shifting light, and viewed by the audience from above. This displacement re- articulates the relationship between the performers and audience. The work takes inspiration from South Korean artist Do Ho Suh’s piece 'Floor' (1997) where the visitor is invited to walk on a glass surface under which there are many small figures. This act on the work highlights a dialectic between abused power and the power of human collective action. We re-imagine this dialogue as a live event where the vulnerability of the skin’s surface elevates the body, and where a sense of precariousness is derived from the situation in which all those present find themselves. The reality of separation suggests a touch that has no consequences, and yet the act of touch or walking over the surface of a body triggers affecting notions of power, control, and moral (un)certainty. The re - orientation of the vertical plane in the first work to the horizontal plane in the second is intended to provoke and calls to attention to the viewer the ethics implicit in this new positioning that in turn desires a physical response.

Venue Details

  1. (Un)touched [performance as part of The Luminous City]
    • Location: Lobby One Canada Square, Canary Wharf
    • Dates: 09 Feb 2016

Item Type: Performance
Research Areas: A. > School of Media and Performing Arts > Performing Arts > Dance group
Item ID: 19830
Useful Links:
Depositing User: Angela Woodhouse
Date Deposited: 12 May 2016 11:42
Last Modified: 09 Feb 2022 10:24
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/19830

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