“Vanitas” was a 30 minute performance of shared play...
An artists studio became a playground of objects and imagery, some tangible some virtual, for a performance about the ephemeral in creative relationships. The piece was made as part of in Artlick's 2019 “Interdependence” Festival.
Before each performance, the space was filled with projections and moving parts alluding to time. Animated silverpoint drawings formed a clock-like movement. Our profiles, projected as shadows onto round boards, dialogued in slow motion, partly obscured and distorted by a veil and a glass. A torch swung in an ovoid orbit, illuminating a metal sheet curved and awaiting action. Recorded sounds of a station concourse, and two performers (each taut and ready to start), created a sense of imminent departure. A central table held string, matches, tape, scissors, shards of glass and mirror, and implied potential actions.
Andrew kicked a pot, which pulled a string and triggered a huge silver ball to bounce into the performance down a spiral staircase. A broom swept a projection off a sheet of metal. Both performers improvised around a planned development using mirrors to receive, reflect and redistribute light from spots, mirrors, candles, and projectors. Filmed shadows completed or contradicted their' movements as the cycle of beginning, development, and closing unfolded in lighting and gradual extinguishing.
The artist duo used only three words "grass" "cat" and "mock" as coded instructions to freeze, release, or reverse the other's gesture. This awkward, unpredictable restriction played with dynamics of control and focus, bandied between the two performers like the light.