Skin without biography
United States of America
Across three screens, two bodies move together, interlocked yet strangely interdependent. They are entangled, as if caught in an evolving embrace, but also appear separate, detached. Theirs is an odd duet, a dance in which the partners fall in and out of sync with one another as if rupture were part of the routine.
If the movements performed by these two dancers (the artist duo themselves) look discordant and dissociated, it’s because they are. What we’re watching is not one dance but two spliced together. The footage of the woman dancing was taken eight years ago. The footage of her partner was taken recently. His movements were made to echo and interact with hers, over which they were digitally composited using an animation technique called rotoscoping. With their bodies and their gestures carefully yet never seamlessly knitted together, they perform a kind of time travel.
The man wears a tracksuit adorned with in-progress images of the animation process. Fragments of footage are partitioned by digital drafting tools, offering a glimpse beneath the masquerade. There are moments in the dance itself when the artifice ‘slips’, when the temporal trickery is exposed. The effect is akin to catching a glimpse of a written dance notation mid-performance. But this becomes part of the choreography, part of the conceit. Their duet is not meant to be perfect. It is a circuitous and cyclical study of human (e)motion; tender and collapsible but hypnotic all the same.
three channel 2K synced video, archived 3K home movie, 4k footage, animation and rotoscopy, 3 LED screens, cords, cotton, media players, powder-coated steel, artist’s custom hand-tufted wool carpet, sound: multichannel stereo
duration: 00:02:0 min continuous, aspect ratio: 16:9, display dimensions variable
Purchased with funds provided by the Photography Collection Benefactors’ Program 2019
Not on display
© nova Milne
Shown in 1 exhibition
The National 2019: New Australian Art, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 29 Mar 2019–21 Jul 2019