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Transition: Curator's Edition
Week 4: 13th to 17th February, 2008: Amanda Lorens & Steven Paige
Buenos Aires Social Club
Curated by Amanda Lorens
Over the last few years Amanda Lorens has used her passion for Tango dancing as the starting point for a series of art-works that use the dance as 'a means of exploring issues around intimacy and non-verbal communication'.
Named after the Wim Wender's documentary about Cuban music (Buena Vista Social Club), Lorens, with collaborators Andy Wood, Biljana Lipic, Francesca Ausenda, John Keys and Dominic Thomas used soft furnishing (a squashy sofa), music, and tea and cake to turn the upstairs gallery into a relaxed social space: more village hall than gallery.
Long rolls of paper marked by the feet of dancers whose shoes were fitted with chalks and pastels, unfurled from the rafter like massive oriental scrolls. The markings themselves seemed to reference 50's abstract expressionist painters, particularly those who were interested in calligraphy like Mark Tobey, (who though Bernard Leach had associations with St Ives and Dartington). The public could watch as different combinations of dancers and music produced different results, all of which were pinned up around the space.
At the back of the gallery were two booths. One called 'Tango confessional booth' contained a lap-top on which the public were invited to type in their response to tango. Photographs by Francesca Ausenda were adjacent to this, with some of the confessions layered in text on top. Inside the other booth was 'Gaze': a video made by Andy Wood in Yorkshire (bottom picture) and 'Love is...' by Biljana Lipic.
The social aspect of dancing was emphasised and during the week of the show, tango lessons were available to the public. This reached climactic finale on the Saturday night with 'Silent Social Dancing' by Amanda Lorens (pictures below). Tango dancers were invited to attend a dance in the gallery in which there was no audible music. Each couple was given a personal stereo playing tango music and two sets of headphones. For the viewer, the space was silent apart from the shuffle of dancing feet.
There was another special event on the Saturday night, with 'In-between': a collaboration between Biljana Lipic and Amanda Lorens, which explored the intimate space between dancers using live projections and wireless cameras (pictures below). Hidden from view inside a 4ft square curtained booth, a couple danced with cameras mounted between their bodies. The moving images were transmitted to a projector and projected live on to the curtained booth.
photos: Amanda Lorens
Folded, glued & printed
Curated by Steven Paige
Steven Paige's project also temporarily altered the gallery's identity and function. In this case the lower gallery was converted into an office, in which, over the space of 5 days a small editorial team put together an art magazine.
Complete with computers, desks and photocopier the only difference from a real office, was that the space was open to the public who were free to listen in on the deliberations of Paige, and his collaborators Erwin Van Wanrooij and Michael Donnelly, and study the various mock-ups, layouts and test prints as they were laid out on the walls.
It is hoped that the magazine, which arrived from the printers on the last day of the exhibition, will be widely distributed across the country, and, amongst other things, will help open up lines of communication between artists in Cornwall and elsewhere.
Artists featured in the magazine: Andrea Facco, Daryl Waller, Joanna Spitzner, Sovay Berriman, Thomas Qualmann, Mark Vernon, Simon Jaques, Rachel Anderson, Gino Saccone, Alison Sharkey, Steven Paige, Becky Shaw, Michael Donnelly, Megan Wakefield