In the video, I walk in a straight line at a steady pace down the centre of the Potemkin Steps in Odessa, Ukraine, made famous in Sergei Eisenstein's 1925 silent film Battleship Potemkin. The video presents a simple performative gesture as an approach to inhabiting a historically-charged site.
Revisions is a 3-channel video that takes Dmitri Shostakovich’s factory-set ballet The Bolt as a point of departure. Through the performance of repeated choreographed sequences, the project expands on ideas of worker discipline through mechanical movement and the passage of the body from control to release. The audio component is a commissioned score for solo voice that converges musical elements of The Drayman’s Dance from The Bolt with Chubby Checker’s Let’s Twist Again. The musical reshaping brings in elements of sabotage through unanticipated and colourful forays into popular music.
Through rigour and humour, this work musically, choreographically and visually conceives of the body navigating between states of control and abandon. With contributions from Kelly Keenan [dancer], Mirko Sablich [composer], and Janet Warrington [voice].
Revisions I, 2011-2013 3-channel HD video, 13:00, 16:9, b&w, stereo sound
The second installment of Revisions, a project that indelibly seeks to revise itself, finds the dancer inhabiting a white space. Dancing a rigid choreography en pointe, the movements slowly situate themselves on the floor with the body twisting and turning towards exhaustion. Featuring Kelly Keenan and produced at an artist residency hosted by Espace Marie Chouinard.
Revisions II, 2011-2014 single-channel HD video, 11:00, b&w, stereo sound
Self Geste performs the reproduction of gestures applied to the body, demonstrating a desire towards a mastery of the working body itself. This video emphasizes a shift from an outward projection of effort to an internalized experience of work. The gestures reference grooming one’s self—from straightening a collar to fixing one’s hair. The actions are continuously repeated in ordered and remixed progressions, like a codified vocabulary of body language whose signification is lost in the manic repetition. What remains is a ritualized emptying of meaning.
Through photography and sculpture, WORK WORK WORK focuses on the body as a tool for production via repetitive and restrictive processes. The photographs, Self-Portrait with Plaster I-IV, present the artist in a series of plaster-bound positions, making evident the production of a pose, the transformation of the working body into object, and the sculptural possibilities of performance-based imagery.
Self-Portrait with Plaster I-IV, 2009 C-prints, 45" x 30"
Studies in Semblance is a sculptural succession of arm casts that references Eadweard Muybridge's motion studies. While the sculptures reveal the repetitive nature of the casting process and emphasize the arms as tools for production, they simultaneously rendered the working body useless in the process.
Studies in Semblance, 2009 plaster, variable dimensions
Exercises in Napery
Exercises in Napery focuses on napkin folding as a disciplined and repetitive task. Divided into three parts, the video begins with a fast-paced instructional video, followed by a task-based performance, and concludes with a stop-motion animation. Through humour and rigour, theatricality and militarism, absurdity and irony, the video examines the economy of labour practices associated with domesticity and the service industry.
Stereo Efficiency Cheer is a fanatical salute to early 20th century principles for increasing worker efficiency. The performance-based video presents a cheerleader as the central figure who recites an original rhymed cheer entitled Be Efficient! The cheer champions worker productivity and maximized output through a climax of infectious clapping rhythms, showy acrobatics, and a grand finale set to Ravel’s Bolero. Control of the worker’s body and mind is paraded as a flexible philosophy where the working body can be re-imagined, energized, fantasized.
Gesture, Utterance, Quixote is a composition that explores the expressive quality of hand gestures detached from verbal communication. A pair of hands takes the spotlight and performs to a musical excerpt from Ludwig Minkus' ballet score, Don Quixote.
The flatbed scans of printmaking tools was a project I started while on residency at the Sagamie National Centre for Digital Art. The centre’s printmaking equipment had been stored in a basement as their production is now completely digitally-based. In an effort to understand the historical process, I decided to formally work with these tools, creating “impressions” through scanning and printing on photo rag. Each item is isolated by a black background, foregrounding the tools as sacralized relics. I am interested in how these objects, in relation to my other bodies of work, articulate the hand-made, ritualized gesture, and manual labour.
Print, 2008 Archival giclée prints on Hahnemühle photo rag, 18" x 18"
A Series of Slow Processions
The installation presents a sculpture of stainless steel wire and cotton, set against a video projection of the weaving process on a computerized Jacquard loom. A Series of Slow Processions engages with gendered labour through performative production, with the intersections of surface, structure, and duration, and with the embodiment of process in an object.
A Series of Slow Processions, 2007 Installation of Jacquard-woven stainless steel wire and cotton, 6' x 3.5', with single-channel video projection, 60:00 looped, stereo sound