The work was commissioned by Siobhan Davies Dance and Independent Dance London for their What Festival 2016: What Remains – Anatomy of an Artist. The work responded to the festival call for a forensics approach to art-making in relation to another artist’s work. surface/sphere draws on the legacy of seminal Judson Dance Theatre artist and instigator of the contact improvisation form – Steve Paxton. It brings Paxton’s rolls and movement puzzles – gathered in the DVD Material for the Spine – into contact with the methods developed in our performance installation what remains and is to come.
Paxton’s rolls and puzzles radically alter how the body and space is perceived in movement; they open the surfaces of the body in the sensations of spherical space. With surface/sphere Paxton’s exercises come into contact with charcoal-covered paper, tracing events of spherical movement on the horizontal surface.
Our artist reflection from the festival programme:
“After contact there is trace, a kind of sediment – that’s not always evident. Traces of our long time ago contact with the artist Steve Paxton exists as embodied memory, as whole body movement patterns – as capacity that inheres and is perhaps not evidently material.
The event of movement-touching-surface – in which the movement patterns are in contact with paper and charcoal – produces material traces. Movement-touching-surface to remove charcoal reveals a void where something has been – negative impression. Movement-touching-surface to transfer charcoal deposits a residue – positive impression. Trace of long ago contact is evident.
There is capture
The camera’s eye traces the evidence of these processes – enacts another kind of capture.
We are organizing the evidence – visibility of sediment, touch of contact, eye that feels …”
The project has been supported by