Rehearsing the Real
Peckham24 (2019) curated by Tom Lovelace. The participating artists were Larry Achiampong, Hitesh Ambasna, Erola Arcalís, Emma Bäcklund, Thom Bridge, Ramona Güntert, Sarah Howe, Steff Jamieson, Joshua Leon, and Sarah Pickering.
Within the broader group exhibition, Ramona Güntert, Steff Jamieson, Joshua Leon, Erola Arcalís and I collaboratively developed an installation that we regard as merging the line between research and creative outcome. It manifested as a dodecagon space in which essences of our individual practices merged to explore issues of presence, fragmentation, cohesion and rehearsal. The installation involved two essay performances based on our months google drive conversations - a space where we had shared ideas and research. Created by Josh Leon “Live Collaborative Essay #1 (La mesa de los Ausentes)” and “Live Collaborative Essay #2 (The Temporal Space)”. All our voices could be found embedded in the text of the scripts. As we simultaneously performed these, the space contained our individual art works, an echo of inside and outside of research and practice evolved. Our personal books acted as props and as part of the performances.
My personal offering to our space Nymph Clasping Ankle consist of appropriated archival images and titles for image categorisations from Aby Warburg’s Mnemosyne Atlas and Warburg Institute's online photographic library, exploring iconology and the ‘performative body’ through gesture, mimicry, repetition and language. Carefully-placed magnifying glasses isolate and enlarge certain parts of images (for instance a hand or knee). The action of combining these elements thus becomes the work.
The performative body, mimicry and repetition of gesture are some of the core interests in my own practice and relate very much to my interest in dance. For me, choreography and photography are hand in hand. In my research into Aby Warburg’s image atlas, I have been considering the Nymph's metamorphic quality, as the Nymph is both a cause and the object of transformation. For me, this symbolises how Ramona, Steff, Josh, Erola and I want to treat the image: as a fluxuous thing that is not confined to a static or flat space.