human-on-human harm and healing
exposure number 4 was an improvised performance created between three artists from various artistic disciplines. The interaction between Kimberly Burger (dance artist) myself and MatininoMusic (musician) was a live happening where our responses were influenced by one another in real time.
Working within the framework of psychological projection and contrition, we traversed over what it meant to project (un)desirable emotions onto someone else through both movement and sound, specifically playing with the aesthetic interpretation of precipice.
In playing with this idea, it could mean that one might find oneself in a dangerous situation, i.e. being ‘extremely close to disaster.’ Within the broader context of the exhibition framework, this precipice (disaster) referred to the risk that humanity would face should it lose its empathy for one another.
The referred-to risk was emulated in the initial movements of the piece where the dancer was seen gingerly exploring the edges of the performative space, echoed by the extended movements made by myself. Attempting to create ‘points of now’ (connections) through physical extensions projecting from my left hand, I was prohibited to perform this with ease due to the dancer’s kinetic movements.
It therefore became unclear whether the connection between the dancer and myself was indeed that of 'friend' or 'foe'...
As the live interaction between us continued to unfold across acoustic temporality I broke off the extensions attached to my left hand, moving closer to the dancer to connect the points into lines (horizons), eventually covering her entire body with paint which I applied with small paintbrushes attached to the broken-off extensions.
For me, the experience was not one of painting but rather one of drawing and connecting, much the same way that I translate sound through gesture.
The 2m x 2m canvas reflected the performative movements made both by myself and the dancer.
exposure number 4 was performed at YoungBlood Africa Art Gallery. It formed part of the Humanity: Friend or Foe? Art Exhibition which was organized by the Friends of Médecins Sans Frontières and UCT surgical society. The exhibition portrayed translations of the paradox of human-to-human harm and healing.
Photo credit: Vanessa Potgieter