Archive for the ‘Exercise 4: Suspensions’ Category

Exercise 4: Suspensions

12 February 2010

Director: Sergio Prego

Venue: PROFORMA Studio / Gallery 5

Carrying out certain physical actions in front of a camera often requires either a considerable degree of awareness, or else a considerable degree of unawareness as to how the action is being recorded. The role is generally entrusted to somebody who is either accurately familiar with the relevant gesture vis-à-vis the recording instrument or, on the contrary, to somebody who is absolutely unaware of them and can therefore execute them naturally. The typical reality of the process usually implies that neither premise is met in such radical terms. Indeed, it appears highly unlikely in the specific instance of this PROFORMA, given the prior disposition expected of its participants. It therefore seems fitting to suggest an exercise that tackles the issue from a different angle.

The purpose of this exercise is to find a system that is able to accurately express a physical gesture. It does, however acknowledge its own impossibility from the outset, given the implausibility that any of the standard strategies will work. The physical gesture will only be triggered by an exception, by accepting a mistake; despite the fact the plan itself is inspired by a concern and an aspiration for rigour.

The exercise consists in subjecting the body to a range of postures by means of a set of objects that shall in turn be transformed and manipulated in order to achieve each posture. The objects guide or force the body into a number of poses based, on the one hand, on executing geometric figures with the body and limbs following a set of coordinates and, on the other, on replicating a set of examples, such as three-dimensional models, photographs or drawings. These figures may be achieved either by submitting the body to the object’s shape, by applying direct pressure with the object on the body, or by the person executing the action seeking a balance when manipulating or suspending the object. The positions shall be documented as photographs and the same figure shall be executed with and without the object in order to test the body’s physical memory of the experience and its accuracy. The objects may be manipulated to adopt a shape that fits the body. In the last instance, it may be the objects that retain an imprint of physical memory.

This exercise is related to the following two: Coordinates on and through Timothy and Bug. There will therefore be a relationship between the systems of coordinates applied in each exercise. Conclusions derived from this exercise shall contribute to the system established for the following two.

The aim of this exercise is for each of the positions to succeed in communicating the expressive moment of a physical action whose memory may be used later on.