HD/ 5 hour three-screen installation / 2015

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hmmmmm is a multi-screen performance video installation created for the exhibition space at Crescent Arts.

We are untrained dancers, and lovers. The installation may fluctuate between humour and gravity as we dance for the five hours. The projected images become like a memory of the act, held in the space, replaying before the viewer’s eyes. What does it mean to really be present? We’re interested in consciousness, the act of perception, and the boundaries between self and other.  | Webb-Ellis 2015

The installation shows the artists dancing together in the exhibition space for five hours – a performance which challenges the artists physically and emotionally.

The recording of their performance in the two exhibition areas at Crescent Arts, with a camera in each space, is projected into the same spaces, in real time. A clock in the projected video displays the current time of day, set exactly at actual viewing time. The dance is led by Christopher Boylan, a teacher of ‘5 Rhythms’, a form of ecstatic movement which focuses on the present moment and aims to explore both inner and outer worlds of human experience.

Webb-Ellis create a multi-screen performance installation – reminiscent of the durational, visceral performance art of the ’60s and ’70s – in which they test their bodies and relationship through five hours of untrained, ecstatic movement, to ask ‘What does it mean to really be present?’. a-n The Artists Information Company

While the dance is performed to music, this is only heard by the visitor through headphones. Ambient sound in the exhibition spaces comprises the artists’ breathing, movement of their feet and occasional speech. The experience of the work is completely altered according to which soundtrack is heard.

With the headphones on, the dance is transformed, and the viewer enters the world of the dancers- emotional, internal, and driven by powerful pulses of sound and physical energy. Plato’s Cave is brought to mind as shadows dance on the walls, and the subjectivity of our own perception is exposed.

The part of the mind that is dark to us in this culture, that is sleeping in us, that we name ‘unconscious’, is the knowledge that we are inseparable from all other beings in the universe.  | Susan Griffin

Please note that the projected images feature nudity throughout.

Many thanks to

Christopher Boylan
Stuart Cameron
Neill Warhurst

REVIEW by Steven Malorie Potter

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