Friday, September 9, 2011
The white gallery space ?
As an artist who works with space, I am turning to the gallery's white space and examining it in and of itself. I interpret it as a charged place where art happens, is viewed or exchanged, and I want to challenge the implied separation between the art object and its viewing subject, contemplating transforming the act of viewing into the art work itself. Just like the theater's black box, the white box is assumed to be a neutral space in which art can be presented, presumably isolated from its environment, which is what is being challenged by the work while it constitutes its inspiration.
The White Box Project is a dance installation performed by a large group of dancers, creating an evolution of pedestrian movements, vocalizations and spatial arrangements that interact with the standing audience. The conceptual project questions the viewer's perspective of art as an outside object, or as being separate from the viewing subject. It brings the viewer to an awareness of being while watching. It is also attempting to redefine the canvas or the space on/in which art is presented: ‘the white wall’ and its atmosphere, or the effect it’s preconceived to be neutral architecture has on people occupying that space in this moment of viewing art.
The White Box Project creates a seamless transition effect between performance and real life and engages the audience to participate in subversive and subliminal ways. Set in the enclosed white wall courtyard space the piece erupts from within the standing audience dispersed in the room. Performers who are mingling with the crowd start to carve a distinct space by gradually joining in unified actions, which grows into a more complex and specific sets of actions. The audience then sees a space being carved, and being transformed into a performance space, creating a perceivable performer/spectator relationship. Following this formation another is created that potentially reverses the roles of who is watching and who is performing. At this point the audience is confused and amused and has to realize that at every corner they turn they are now involved. But they also have to make a decision, will they join voluntarily or will they hold and use any of the space left to escape. And then once again the perspectives are changed and what you believed to be the outside world is now the inside, and you are in. I am interested in making these transitions come across in subtle ways allowing the audience to gradually feel invited and included and not agressed. As an audience member you are also always doing the right thing, there is no wrong; escape, surrender decisions bounce together in your head as you navigate this unthreatening and playful moving maze surrounding you and moving to and fro. The piece continues to evolve with new events that both blur and reaffirm the roles. The work engages audience members at various degrees of interactions within theses evolving performance worlds, who also eventually create some of their own…