Marie Chouinards sexually billed introduction program find dancers locked up like zoo swine then released, while Vladimir Putin is taunted with whips and made to dance with a Nubian Queen
A naked dame perforates her body repeatedly against a wall, her saying concealed by the dark tumble of hair encompassing her face. A sallow, serious youth jigs a lonely track through a audience of observers, his limbs drifting, warping and buckling to low-level electronic music. A middle-aged being in a knitted cap and lifeguards coat broom the storey, talking all the while about the counsel to purify his life.
There is nothing new about visual art that blurs into performance, or dancing that verges on station, but at Venice this year the question of categories feels interestingly loaded. Daina Ashbees Unrelated and Benot Lachambres Lifeguard are the first and third happenings described above, hitherto while they feature in the programme that has been put together by the dance biennales brand-new aesthetic director, Marie Chouinard, neither employment embraces traditional modes of choreography. The dreamy street-dance solo, meanwhile, comes from Anne Imhofs Faust, a five-hour episode that is outlining the largest crowd at the artwork biennale and whose communication is heavily predicated on dance.
The agency of the body is a key topic of Faust, often because its cast are forced into situations of unsettling passivity. Imhof has transformed the interior of the German pavilion into glass chambers within which individuals or small groups of performers are held. As we tread past or even above them, we can observe these young men and women engaged in their own variously stolid, hostile or sex works, as though they were laboratory samples or animals in a zoo.
Those glass walls and ceilings start to feel like an absolute segment, turning us into voyeurs and the musicians into objectives even when theyre exhibiting clues of menacing behaviour. It comes as a shocking reversal of capability when the musicians are sporadically let out of their cadres and allowed to dance among us, taking sudden bidding of the space and maintaining their supremacy over our awkward, self-conscious bodies.
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