24 FRAMES PER SECOND – MEDIA RELEASE
June 18, 2015
CARRIAGEWORKS PRESENTS: 24 FRAMES PER SECOND
NEW COMMISSIONS BY 24 ARTISTS – THREE YEARS OF ART-MAKING UNVEILED
Sydney, Australia: In a ground-breaking project that has been in development over the last three years, Carriageworks has commissioned 24 Australian and international artists, dancers, choreographers and filmmakers to create 24 major new artworks.
Presented from 18 June to 2 August 2015, 24 Frames Per Second is an ambitious exhibition that has been three years in the making. Occupying the nexus between film, dance and the visual arts, the exhibition has been conceived in response to a shift towards interdisciplinary and collaborative experimentation in contemporary artistic practice.
Supported by the Australia Council for the Arts in a significant multi-year partnership with Carriageworks, 24 Frames Per Second was developed to provide Australian artists with the resources and support to create dynamic multidisciplinary installations that traverse film, dance and visual art. As well, it provides an opportunity to present major international and Australian figures working at the forefront of this intersection.
24 Frames Per Second consolidates Carriageworks’ growing national and international reputation for innovation in the making and presentation of contemporary work. ‘We are proud to present the results of three years of experimentation and work by leading artists from across Australia and internationally. This major new initiative continues the Carriageworks commitment to providing uncompromising support of artists and to making risk-taking new work which is both relevant and engaging to audiences locally, nationally and internationally,’ Carriageworks Director Lisa Havilah said.
‘24 Frames Per Second explores the integrated nature of contemporary art practice which, in recent years, has seen dance and live performance infiltrate the institutional spaces of the museum,’ says exhibition co-curator Nina Miall. ‘In addition, the distinctive spaces of Carriageworks offer a platform that exists beyond the dance studio, black box, or white cube’, says exhibition co-curator Beatrice Gralton.
Australia Council Director of Dance, Carin Mistry, adds: ‘Contemporary dance artists explore movement from a range of perspectives – from within the individual body, alongside or in counterpoint with others, in intersections with objects or in relation to abstract concepts. Dance is a fundamentally collaborative medium where connections are made across form, practice and territories. 24 Frames Per Second will provide significant new opportunities for audiences to engage with new works by leading national and international artists.’
Highlights of the exhibition include a new installation by Sydney-based artist Tony Albertand choreographer Stephen Page which looks at the vulnerability and strength of young Aboriginal men.
Melbourne-based choreographer Nat Cursio and video artist Daniel Crooks have collaborated with Australian dance icon Don Asker on a work which offers a meditation on longevity and gathered wisdom, using the formal device of Crooks’ signature ‘time slice’ technique.
Paris-based Australian artist Angelica Mesiti explores the Berber tradition of the Nakhdance from the Algerian/Tunisian border, a ceremonial wedding dance in which the bride’s female attendants thrash their hair to enter a trance-like state.
British choreographer Siobhan Davies and filmmaker David Hinton use the ten-second sprint as their focal point, referencing Eadweard Muybridge’s (1830-1904) celebrated studies of motion in a new film called The Running Tongue, to which 22 independent dance artists have contributed.
Video artist Kate Murphy explores the ageing body and its capacity for physical and echoic memory in a diptych of films which juxtapose challenges to mobility and expression.
Media artist Khaled Sabsabi’s multi-channel video projection explores correspondences between the heightened states of ecstasy and fanaticism exhibited by fans of the Western Sydney Wanderers football team with those performed by an Indonesian shaman.
New Zealand artist Sriwhana Spong uses Russian dancer Vaslav Nijinsky’s semi-sensical letter ‘To mankind’ as the score for new choreography by London-based dancer Benjamin Ord. This single-channel film explores the slippages between sanity and madness, balance and collapse, language and meaning.
Renowned French dancer François Chaignaud performs a fragile new solo choreography and vocal score to Henry Purcell’s (1659- 1695) baroque piece O solitude: A song upon a ground from 1687. Filmed in Death Valley in California by French filmmaker César Vayssié, the film sees Chaignaud escaping the traditional space of the theatre to be an isolated fugitive amongst the infinite expanse of the desert.
Australian artists commissioned:
Tony Albert and Stephen Page, Branch Nebula with Denis Beaubois, Clare Britton, Jack Prest & Matt Prest, Alison Currie, Nat Cursio and Daniel Crooks, Brian Fuata, Angelica Mesiti, Kate Murphy, James Newitt, Byron Perry and Antony Hamilton, David Rosetzky, Khaled Sabsabi, S. Shakthidharan, Aimee Smith, Sophie Hyde in collaboration with Restless Dance Theatre, Latai Taumoepeau and Elias Nohra, Christian Thompson, Lizzie Thomson, and Vicki Van Hout and Marian Abboud.
International artists commissioned:
François Chaignaud and César Vayssié, Choy Ka Fai, Siobhan Davies & David Hinton (in collaboration with 22 independent dance artists), Ho Tzu Nyen, Sriwhana Spong and Saburo Teshigawara.
This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body.
24 Frames Per Second
18 June to 2 August, 2015 Carriageworks
The exhibition will tour nationally and internationally and will form a series of smaller-scale touring projects to visit regional arts centres across Australia. A series of public programs and artists’ talks will take place over the duration of the exhibition. A major publication is being published as part of the project along with multiple opportunities for audience engagement with the artists online.
Carriageworks is grateful for the support of the following key partners and collaborators on this project: the Australia Council for the Arts, Arts NSW, ABC Arts, Anna Schwartz Gallery, Biennale of Sydney, Bundanon Trust, Campbelltown Arts Centre, Canon, Casula Powerhouse, Museum of Contemporary Art Sydney, Performance Space, School of the Arts and Media UNSW, UNSW Art & Design.
24 FRAMES PER SECOND ARTIST PROJECTS IN DETAIL:
TONY ALBERT & STEPHEN PAGE
An installation comprised of a stripped-back, fitted-out car, which includes a video work choreographed by Stephen Page and a soundscape by David Page. Moving Targets pays homage to the vulnerability and strength of young Aboriginal men, exploring notions of identity and masculinity.
BRANCH NEBULA WITH DENIS BEAUBOIS, CLARE BRITTON, JACK PREST AND MATT PREST
Shot in rural NSW, Whelping Box is a collaboration between performance makers Branch Nebula (Lee Wilson and Mirabelle Wouters), Matt Prest, Clare Britton, sound artist Jack Prest and video artist Denis Beaubois. The film depicts a series of intensely physical and ritualistic tasks – primal acts of display, territorial combat – performed in the bush in regional NSW, and explores the impact of these on different psychological states, from the human aspiration to higher, god-like forms to degenerative animalistic desire.
FRANÇOIS CHAIGNAUD & CÉSAR VAYSSIÉ
The Sweetest Choice
Celebrated French choreographer François Chaignaud performs a fragile and precarious new solo choreography and vocal score to Henry Purcell’s (1659-1695) baroque piece O solitude: A song upon a ground. Filmed in Death Valley in California by filmmaker César Vayssié, the film sees Chaignaud escaping the traditional space of the theatre to be an isolated fugitive amongst the infinite expanse of the desert.
I Can Relate
Adelaide-based choreographer Alison Currie explores turmoil and serenity in the intimate relationship between performer, landscape and screen. Drawing upon the historical association of sculpture with the body and human movement, Currie’s film is projected onto a three- dimensional, sculpted screen. The work was shot on location at Lady Bay, Port Elliot in South Australia.
NAT CURSIO & DANIEL CROOKS
at least for a while anyway
Melbourne-based choreographer Nat Cursio collaborates with video artist Daniel Crooks on a screen choreography which meditates upon longevity and gathered wisdom. The work takes Don Asker, a treasure of Australian dance, and captures him amongst his ‘other’ life as a farmer. Subjected to Crooks’ highly developed ‘time slice’ technique, this portrait blends the time and space based practice of choreography with the imaginatively rendered image, prising the body open to celebrate the breadth of knowledge that is encapsulated in one extraordinary human being.
SIOBHAN DAVIES & DAVID HINTON
The Running Tongue
This collaboration between British choreographer Siobhan Davies and filmmaker David Hinton takes the ten-second sprint as its departure point. Each of the 250 frames that comprise this 10-second film is assigned a proverb and then given to an artist or dancer who makes graphic and choreographic interventions directly on to the film still, around the figure of the sprinting woman. Rather than being run continuously at normal speed, the film freezes on individual frames sporadically so that viewers register both the visual and emotional layering of this work.
SOPHIE HYDE in collaboration with RESTLESS DANCE THEATRE
To Look Away
Collaborating with Restless Dance Theatre, Australia’s leading dance company working with young disabled and non-disabled people, Sophie Hyde’s work To Look Away consists of five video portraits that adapt classical aesthetic notions of historic portraiture to explore the inner worlds of five young people. Gaze, intimacy and movement is investigated through choreography and the language of film in these sensitive and contemporary portraits.
In Nahk Removed, Paris-based artist Angelica Mesiti explores how dance is used to enter altered states within traditional cultural and spiritual practice. The film is based on the ritualistic practice of the Nahk or ‘hair dance’, a Berber dance from the Algerian/Tunisian border. The Nahk is traditionally performed at weddings and during a period devoted to fertility. It features the swaying of the dancer’s head and thrashing of the hair. The simple movements, when performed repetitively, induce an altered state of consciousness.
Lift and Push
Kate Murphy’s works Lift (2013) and Push (2015) explore the ageing body and mind, and their capacity for physical and echoic memory. Involving older dancers who rely on props – one a patient lifter, one a commode wheelchair – to assist their movements, these works were created as a result of the artist spending time in an aged care facility, where her father lived for the last three years of his life, observing people who suffer with dementia and varying degrees of immobility.
Tasmanian artist James Newitt’s commission takes, as its departure point, the conundrum that dance disappears at the very moment of its creation. Working with non-performers, Newitt explores the notions of melancholy, ennui and lethargy within a broader context of socio- economic crisis and collapse. For the work, the artist collaborated with a renowned Portuguese choreographer Miguel Pereira and a psychoanalyst who specialises in movement therapy. Together they set up a therapy session on a well-known Portuguese actor Cláudio da Silva. Miguel watched the therapy session and constructed a choreography performed by dancers from a school called Forum Dança. The project was filmed after months of development and rehearsals over three days in one of Lisbon’s oldest theatre spaces – Teatro São Luiz.
A co-commission between ACMI and Carriageworks, David Rosetzky’s video installation embodies the artist’s ongoing exploration of personal identity and the relationships – or ‘gaps’ – between self and other through speech, movement and dance. Drawing from material Rosetzky gathered conducting interviews with his cast, this new work is an oblique survey of the transition from rehearsal to performance, in both art and life. Collaborators on this piece include choreographer and performer Stephanie Lake (How to Feel, 2010), co-writer Anna Zagala and performers Jessie Oshodi, Lee Serle, Rani Pramesti and Dimitri Baveas.
Sydney-based artist Khaled Sabsabi’s multi-channel video projection explores the socio-political construction of the mass demonstration, and the heightened states of consciousness – ecstasy and fanaticism – that accompany its practice. It juxtaposes very different instances of demonstration, one secular and one spiritual. Both demonstrations involve carefully orchestrated movement carried out by a group and individuals with a common passion or belief, and induced heightened psychological states or experiences. The resulting film installation reveals parallels between them, identifying common ways in which people behave physically and psychologically.
Emergence (Myth Story Cycle One)
Filmmaker S. Shakthidharan provides performer and Yolngu woman Rosealee Pearson with a series of provocations. These provocations ask Rosealee to interrogate the reigning mythologies of her traditional culture in Arnhem Land, and consider ways to imprint these ideas onto contemporary Australian culture in our cities. The results are a series of abstracted images portrayed through movement and showcased through film. Both visuals and sound have an otherworldly, dreamlike feel to them. The soundscape for the film is built by Leah Barclay, who uses on-site field recordings, and recordings from Rosealee herself, her movement and various natural soundscapes in inner-city Sydney.
The Herd continues Smith’s ongoing exploration of pack mentality and the social dynamics of climate change. A mass of bodies move together in a rhythmic pulse that is at once animalistic and human. A centrifugal force binds the group together while the occasional body drifts away in dissent, only to find themselves continuously pulled back into the fold. Filmed at the edges of visible light and shadow the viewer’s perception of the group is blurred, at times revealing the distinct form of human bodies, and at other times appearing as an amorphous creature dancing an apocalyptic dance.
The Fourth Notebook
New Zealand artist Sriwhana Spong’s The Fourth Notebook uses Russian dancer Vaslav Nijinsky’s (1889-1950) semi-sensical letter ‘To mankind’ as the rhythmical score for new choreography by London-based dancer Benjamin Ord. This single-channel film takes a poem, untranslatable from its original French, to explore the slippages between sanity and madness, balance and collapse, language and meaning.
Haunted by two dancers, Japanese choreographer Saburo Teshigawara’s new workBroken Lights is an installation in which the viewer is enveloped by a field of broken glass, reflecting the light into infinity. Originally commissioned as a live duet between Saburo Teshigawara and his long-time collaborator Rihoko Sato by Ruhrtriennale 2014,Broken Lights is here reimagined as a four-channel video installation to create an immersive experience for the viewer and to open up new perspectives on movement and the body.
Silence is Golden
In Silence is Golden, indigenous artist Christian Thompson explores the quintessentially English folk ritual of Morris dancing through the lens of his own ancestral history. Thompson’s great, great grandfather hails from Bampton, a small town in Oxfordshire, United Kingdom, which is home to the Traditional Bampton Morris Dancers. Having received tuition in Morris dancing from a professional dancer in the UK, the artist here transposes its rather peculiar and old-fashioned steps to a studio, heightening the anachronistic quality of the dance and his own cultural dislocation in performing it.
Sydney-based choreographer Lizzie Thomson’s four-channel video installation loosely tracks the history of jazz dance, in recognition of the influence of African-American aesthetics on Western dance practices. Exploring a vernacular of syncopated rhythms, isolations, jazz runs, pelvic tilts and kick ball changes, the dancing body becomes a site for experimentation and cultural inquiry. As a dancer makes her way through this jazz vocabulary, she engages the videographer in a choreographic duet that questions the roles of performer and spectator and asks who is watching who.