Bodies of Work

Ritual for an Untimely Life
2009
Single channel video
21:23

Ritual for an Untimely Life from hadley+maxwell on Vimeo.

Exhibition venue: Kunstverein Göttingen, Germany, 2009. Publication produced in conjunction with the exhibition: Uninterrupted Stage Directions for Louise Miller.

In Ritual for an Untimely Life, a dancer slowly performs a choreography based on the safety demonstration given before a flight. These familiar gestures–that we have, perhaps, learned to ignore–are dramatized here to be almost unrecognizable. The video acts like a slow-moving painting, coloured artificially with theatrical lights, borrowing from German Expressionism’s bold palette and fragmented portraits of a traumatic urbanity. The body of the performer is stitched together with itself across time, highlighting the grotesque aberrations that appear in the repetition of gestures. Situated in the gallery at the entrance and between rooms, the dancer also acts as a kind of guide or docent, indicating the exits and eerily guiding the viewer through the space. (Performer: Emma W. Howes)