Marie Chouinards sexually accused debut programme construes dancers locked up like zoo animals then loosed, while Vladimir Putin is razzed with whips and made to dance with a Nubian Queen
A naked lady perforates her body frequently against a wall, her expression hide by the dark drop of whisker crossing her appearance. A sallow, serious boy dances a solitary footpath through a crowd of observers, his limbs drifting, warping and fastening to low-level electronic music. A middle-aged humanity in a knitted detonator and lifeguards coat wipes the storey, talking all the while about the exhort to purify his life.
There is nothing brand-new about visual art that blurs into performance, or dance that verges on installing, but at Venice this year the question of categories appears interestingly loaded. Daina Ashbees Unrelated and Benot Lachambres Lifeguard are the first and third phenomena described above, hitherto while they feature in the programme that has been put together by the dance biennales brand-new artistic head, Marie Chouinard, neither effort espouses conventional modes of choreography. The dreamy street-dance solo, meanwhile, comes from Anne Imhofs Faust, a five-hour contest that is depicting the most significant mob at the artwork biennale and whose communication is heavily predicated on dance.
The agency of their own bodies is a key topic of Faust, often because its cast are forced into situations of unsettling passivity. Imhof has altered the interior of the German pavilion into glass chambers within which individuals or a small number of performers are held. As we move past or even above them, we can observe these young men and women engaged in their own variously stolid, unfriendly or sexual works, as though it were laboratory samples or animals in a zoo.
Those glass walls and ceilings start to feel like an absolute divide, making us into voyeurs and the performers into objects even when theyre exhibiting mansions of menacing behaviour. It comes as a appalling change of supremacy when the musicians are periodically let out of their cells and allowed to dance among us, taking sudden bidding of the seat and maintaining their dominance over our awkward, self-conscious bodies.
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