Posts Tagged ‘ inspiration ’


without projection, with projection….




pina Bausch

It’s difficult to think of another European dance artist who has continued throughout her career to be both as influential and as controversial as the German choreographer Pina Bausch. Although Bausch trained in New York for three years from 1959-62 during her formative phase as a young dancer, her sensibility is firmly European in the visions of a dark, brooding and tension-filled world her theatre depicts.

This revolutionary 3D film PINA from director Wim Wenders captures the aesthetic of Pina Bausch’s greatest works in a thrilling way.



time… space

Video wasn’t only used as interactive art works, it was as well used to create and define a space, as in Dan Graham’s installations. His works have as concepts subjectivity and objectivity and the observer and observed. “The artificiality of the video and of the projectors, aided by mirrors and showcases, had enabled Dan Graham to explore perceptive dimensions that were in no way dependent on Renaissance perspective: an orderly and scientific rebellion that surveyed every spatial possibility.”[1]

dan graham’s ‘present, continuous, past(s), 1974






Writer Brian Wallis has said that Graham’s works “displayed a profound faith in the idea of the present, [he] sought to comprehend post-war American culture through imaginative new forms of analytical investigation, facto-graphic reportage, and quasi-scientific mappings of space/time relationships.” The concepts behind Dan Graham’s artwork explore the effect that the space has on the viewer, physically engaging the viewer into the work. His pavilions are steel and glass sculptures, which create a different space that disorients the viewer from his/her usual surroundings or knowledge of space.

My first performance experiment consisted on one actor inside a flat, as showed in the diagram above (on the right) being filmed by a camera connected to a projector. The image from the camera is projected across the street, on the walls of another flat, creating the impression that the flat across the street is without walls and you can see through. The audience is whoever crosses the street on that moment. As a first experiment I wanted to check technical issues, if the projector was good enough, if the street was dark enough and to lead me to further thoughts. Everything worked and the main feedback I got was the relation between my practice and Dan Graham’s first installations, in 1970, which were in effect research into re-dimensioning space and time, on the basis of the viewer’s perspective. It is a interactive work with the viewer, depending on it to actually became an artwork.

“I’m interested in inter-subjectivity, exploring how a person, in a precise and given moment, perceives him/herself while at the same time watching other people who in turn are watching him/her. (…) I was interested in the relation between group perception and the perception of the individual spectator, the one who had time to ponder.” Dan Graham[2]

Relating the way Graham’s uses video, and his concepts to develop work – and also installations, sculptures and architecture – with the way video is used in theatre and performance, as I will exemplify soon, I am able to relate how time and space can be perceived and explored into different kinds of artwork: one in which the viewer is perceiving time and space because of his own interaction (on Graham’s) and other in which the viewer is perceiving it because of the performers interaction with video. And my practice is between the two, as has the viewer’s perception as well as the performer.

Moreover, the time delay is linked to drug-produced hallucinatory conditions where you re-insert into the present tense what you have just done, moving in a kind of mental space-time.” Dan Graham








[1] “Dan Graham, ARTIST, Maybe ARCHITECT”, article by Massimiliano di Bartolomeo. Massimiliano di Bartolomeu is an architect.

He lectures on environmental architecture at Milan Polytechnic and writes regularly for Domus.

[2] Artland, Dan Graham’s interview by Pietro Valle

merce cunningham

Merce Cunningham’s amazing performance ! I went it last wednesday 27th of October at the barbican theatre, part of the dance umbrella festival (London). EXPERIMENTAL!

Merce Cunningham’s performance “Nearly Ninety” it is an outstanding show of visual and audio possibilities.  The first act consists on half stage being used, with a gauze on the middle. The lights behind the screen create shadows so strong and mysterious allowing our perception to understand that there is something big behind the screen, which is moving, because the shadows are moving. Suddenly projections ( by Franc Aleu) of geometric futuristic forms start to appear creating together with the shadows (and the occasional silhouettes of the musicians) a doubt on the audience, without knowing if the shadows are from the lights, which are moving, or an object moving, or if the shadows are projections as well. The dancers, with futuristic costumes and minimal movements, dancing with this background create another reality, the idea that we – the audience – are in another planet.

But the best comes with the second act, when the stage is completely revealed, showing a weird  enormous architectural installation as the set design, in which the musicians stay inside, playing live. Some projection screens go down, and a live projection of the experimental musician Takehisha Kosugi experimenting sounds with the movement of nails inside a pan could be seen.

In this moment I could feel the background of the Cunningham/Cage collaborations, and how they succeeded on experimenting with the audience perception mixing sound, image and dance into an experimental, improvisation piece, giving the term multimedia the biggest meaning ever.








it’s not shit it’s architecture!

As an inspiration I can never forget One of the greatest theatre directors and designers, Robert Wilson…

My tutor has shown us this Bob Wilson’s video, and told a story that once Bob Wilson was rehearsing with a famous actor, and because was too minimal and he was paying too much attention to minimal details, the actor got angry and tired and screamed: “this is shit!” and Bob replied: “it is not shit, it is architecture!”

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