Denmarks Royal College of Art, Charlottenborg Castle
Copenhagen April 17, 2010
Art in Action: 'Mani_Fest' with Christian Johansen
'Mani_Fest' is a shared experience in two artists collaborating on a mutual painting with the focus on non verbal, non violent interaction. An exercise in letting go of Ego control, one artist extremely focused, close-up to the canvas in slowmotion meditative state of 'flow' brush strokes and the other's on action painting, as if he'd been working in the streets.
’Corpus in C’ Arthall Charlottenborg, Autumn Exhibition 1991.
'Corpus in C' is a human, paradoxical and 'open' live performance that takes its starting point in the female body, examining and investigating the limits of what the female body is, and what it means to be in a woman's body in relation to scientific and gender-specific themes.
The performance involves interaction with other artists exhibited works at the exhibition, architechture, the audience's response to the performers, intersecting several artistic disciplines such as Visual Arts, dance and theater.
'Corpus in C' implements through its interdisciplinary nature Richard Wagner's idea of ’a total work of art,’ and the performance is choreographed so that frozen movements are performed in a sequence reminiscent of a staged march, in which the performers occasionally stop their movements in order to pose in stylized tableaux that refers to Bertolt Brecht's instructional methods.
Butoh dance movements is another element in this performance. Butoh was born out of post-war Japan as a movement in search of a new identity that could recreate sense within a defeated society. Butoh rebelled against traditional dance forms, inspired by Antonin Artaud's Theatre of Cruelty and examines the primordial.
The costumes inserted klichées; total cats suits with external misplaced organs, blood vessels and over-sized brains, indicates artistic commentary about a plausible apocalyptic future, a scenario in which genetic manipulation might lead to deformities, and alienation from mortal bodies as we know them now.
The performers robot-like movements imprints an image of humanity's development and misude of technology. They are comments on fascism entailed a self-defeating choreography where the female body is looking for its identity. It seems that the performer has lost itself either through admitting old standards are impossible to break out of or through the rejection of femininity.
The performers ’robottic’ movements imprints an image of mankind’s development of civilization and (mis)use of technology. It is a commentary on fascism entailed a self destructive choreography, where the female body is in search for identity. It looks as if the performer has lost herself, either by ’admitting’ that old norms are impossible to break free of or by rejecting female attributes.
'Corpus in C’ juxtaposes clichés and attains thereby a 'saturation' which is so thick that the audience might understand that it's all about woman's pain caused by a clash between 'the truth by breathing’ and the vibrant body encased in degenerated organ costume-shells, which are very difficult to break through and get out of.
The aesthetic symbolism points to the relationship between physical and mental presence in time and space, with the hope to exceed these and create a deeper and freer space uninhabited with the awareness of scientific new inventions lead astray.
Copyright ® Birgitte Moos 2014
© Birgitte Moos Chalcraft 2019