Alexis Blake
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Crack Nerve Boogie Swerve — Act Two
Crack Nerve Boogie Swerve — Act Two

Crack Nerve Boogie Swerve concentrates on the notions of resistance and breaking – breaking norms, breaking free from constraints, liberating oneself from the confinement of oppression. The act and meaning of breaking was explored through the use of sound, the voice, and the body in an installation made of glass and concrete.

Glass works congruently with the notion of breaking because it defies and resists a structure that tries to confine it into a unified form. It is inherently fragile and strong; a material that is constantly in an in-between state, amorphous, always changing; just like the body — individual and collective.

Crack Nerve Boogie Swerve consists an installation and a performance series in three parts: Prelude, Act One and Act Two. During the exhibition Blake used the installation space as a process and rehearsal space to create the performance. Therefore, visitors could observe a snippet of the process or follow it each day. At the end of each Act’s Sessions — the allocated time for the work process — there was a Sketch, which was an end marker of the process.

The glass installation — referencing Italian and Brazilian architect, Lina Bo Bardi’s glass easels in the The São Paulo Museum of Art — was comprised of various sizes and thicknesses of different types of glass with varying tonal qualities. The sound exciters transformed the glass into speakers, contact microphones on the glass picked-up the sound vibrations when the glass was struck, and the base-shakers vibrated the glass with lower frequencies.

Act Two was developed with a group of dancers – Kelly Bigirindavyi, Fiona Dekkers, Alesya Dobysh, Lisa Kasman, Alice de Mayo and Jomecia Oosterwolde – who’s dance backgrounds ranged from break dancing, house, hip hop, contemporary, tap, West African and ballet. Blake worked with them on how not to appropriate each other’s movement language, but rather to use the glass as a metaphorical and actual tool to communicate, break patterns and potentially create a new vocabulary of movement as a collective without losing one’s subjectivity.

As in Blake’s other works, she deconstructs and challenges associations attached to gestures - specifically gender codes. By juxtaposing these womxn’s different movement languages and subjectivities, there was the freedom and space for any emotion, thought and/or idea to arise, be supported and processed.

Blake commissioned the fashion designer, Elisa van Joolen to create a series of outfits for the performers that echoed this process-based work. The clothing was designed by upcycling ‘streetwear’ garments from secondhand stores, which Van Joolen deconstructed and played with the notion of visibility and transparency and the binary of what is ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’. Van Joolen created the clothing in collaboration with Anouk Beckers.

CREDITS

Concept, direction: Alexis Blake
Choreography developed with: Kelly Bigirindavyi, Fiona Dekkers, Alesya Dobysh, Lisa Kasman, Alice de Mayo and Jomecia Oosterwolde
Sound: Aniek de Rooij
Production Assistant: Judith Roux
Garments: Elisa van Joolen with Anouk Beckers
Photography: Diana Oliveira
Re-touch: Thijme & Szafrańska

Performed at TENT., Rotterdam, NL within the context of the exhibition, No you won’t be naming no buildings after me; curated by Vincent van Velsen.
Supported by the Mondriaan Fonds

Crack Nerve Boogie Swerve — Act One
Crack Nerve Boogie Swerve — Act One

Crack Nerve Boogie Swerve concentrates on the notions of resistance and breaking – breaking norms, breaking free from constraints, liberating oneself from the confinement of oppression. The act and meaning of breaking was explored through the use of sound, the voice, and the body in an installation made of glass and concrete.

Glass works congruently with the notion of breaking because it defies and resists a structure that tries to confine it into a unified form. It is inherently fragile and strong; a material that is constantly in an in-between state, amorphous, always changing; just like the body — individual and collective.

Crack Nerve Boogie Swerve consists an installation and a performance series in three parts: Prelude, Act One and Act Two. During the exhibition Blake used the installation space as a process and rehearsal space to create the performance. Therefore, visitors could observe a snippet of the process or follow it each day. At the end of each Act’s Sessions — the allocated time for the work process — there was a Sketch, which was an end marker of the process.

The glass installation — referencing Italian and Brazilian architect, Lina Bo Bardi’s glass easels in the The São Paulo Museum of Art — was comprised of various sizes and thicknesses of different types of glass with varying tonal qualities. The sound exciters transformed the glass into speakers, contact microphones on the glass picked-up the sound vibrations when the glass was struck, and the base-shakers vibrated the glass with lower frequencies.

In Act One the singer, Pink Oculus’s voice played with the glass frequencies, percussionist Lauriane Ghils played with the rhythms of the glass’ tones, and sound artist Aniek de Rooij sampled from the percussionist and singer and played it back through the glass speakers.

Blake commissioned the fashion designer, Elisa van Joolen to create a series of outfits for the performers that echoed this process-based work. The clothing was designed by upcycling ‘streetwear’ garments from secondhand stores, which Van Joolen deconstructed and played with the notion of visibility and transparency and the binary of what is ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’. Van Joolen created the clothing in collaboration with Anouk Beckers.

CREDITS

Concept and direction: Alexis Blake
Act One developed with: Pink Oculus, Lauriane Ghils and Aniek de Rooij
Sound designer: Alexander Koeppel
Production Assistant: Judith Roux
Garments: Elisa van Joolen with Anouk Beckers
Photography: Diana Oliveira
Re-touch: Thijme & Szafrańska
Supported by the Mondriaan Fonds

Performed at TENT., Rotterdam, NL within the context of the exhibition, No you won’t be naming no buildings after me; curated by Vincent van Velsen.

Crack Nerve Boogie Swerve — Prelude
Crack Nerve Boogie Swerve — Prelude

Crack Nerve Boogie Swerve concentrates on the notions of resistance and breaking – breaking norms, breaking free from constraints, liberating oneself from the confinement of oppression. The act and meaning of breaking was explored through the use of sound, the voice, and the body in an installation made of glass and concrete.

Glass works congruently with the notion of breaking because it defies and resists a structure that tries to confine it into a unified form. It is inherently fragile and strong; a material that is constantly in an in-between state, amorphous, always changing; just like the body — individual and collective.

Crack Nerve Boogie Swerve consists an installation and a performance series in three parts: Prelude, Act One and Act Two. During the exhibition Blake used the installation space as a process and rehearsal space to create the performance.

The Prelude took place during the opening of the exhibition. Blake entered the space unannounced and struck one of the larger standing pan­els of glass with great force. The sound, which reverberated throughout the space above the chatter of the crowd, was vio­lent and inescapable. After three breaks in the glass, Blake left the silent space. It was a simple action to start the work and break the pristine installation and the viewer’s expectations.

See Act One or Act Two* for more detailed description of the project at large.

CREDITS

Concept, direction and performer: Alexis Blake
Garments: Elisa van Joolen with Anouk Beckers
Photography: Brand New Guys
Supported by the Mondriaan Fonds

Performed at TENT., Rotterdam, NL within the context of the exhibition, No you won’t be naming no buildings after me; curated by Vincent van Velsen.

Crack Nerve Boogie Swerve — Installation
Crack Nerve Boogie Swerve — Installation

Crack Nerve Boogie Swerve consists of an installation and a performance series in three parts: Prelude, Act One and Act Two.

The installation Blake designed consisted of glass, concrete, a rubber dance floor, hanging garments, suction cup handles, crampons, sound exciters, contact microphones and base shakers.

The various sizes and thicknesses of different types of glass panels - single, safety and tempered - sat in concrete blocks or hung by wires from the ceiling. The glass panels had varying tonal sound qualities. Thus when struck, created different notes of sound. For example, the 6 smaller single panes of glass on the wall acted as a xylophone. Blake worked with PhD students from the University of Amsterdam to determine the wavelengths of the vibrations of the panels, and to figure out where the most stressed point of the glass was located – the breaking point.

Concerning the design of the installation, Blake referenced the Italian and Brazilian architect, Lina Bo Bardi’s glass easels in the The São Paulo Museum of Art. This work was referenced because of it’s radical, unorthodox and non-hierarchical way of presenting (art) history, it’s questioning of public vs. private and it’s choreography of spectator movement in space. Blake’s panels of glass were not holding historical paintings, but transparent, and when layered or broken, caused multiple and fractured perspectives. Thus referencing the multiplicity of narratives in any given history, and the fragility and precarity of how history is then remembered within the collective memory.

Blake worked with the young Brazilian architect, Carolina Chataignier to create an adaptation of Bo Bardi’s concrete construction.

Also in the space was hanging a rack of clothing, which was used during Act One and Act Two. Blake commissioned the fashion designer, Elisa van Joolen to create a series of outfits for the performers that echoed this process-based work. The clothing was designed by upcycling ‘streetwear’ garments from secondhand stores, which Van Joolen deconstructed and played with the notion of visibility and transparency and the binary of what is ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’. Van Joolen created the clothing in collaboration with Anouk Beckers.

CREDITS

Concept and design: Alexis Blake
Construction of concrete structures: Carolina Chataignier and Christiaan Bakk
Production assistant: Judith Roux
Glass consultant: Judith Roux
Garments: Elisa van Joolen with Anouk Beckers
Photography: Aad Hoogendoorn
Supported by the Mondriaan Fonds

Installed at TENT., Rotterdam, NL within the context of the exhibition, No you won’t be naming no buildings after me; curated by Vincent van Velsen.

Anthology of Anger — IMMA - Performance
Anthology of Anger — IMMA - Performance

Anthology of Anger is a large-scale project that will span over time, and in its various phases, it will take the form of a series of performances, workshops, and eventually a film and publication.

Anthology of Anger explores how culture, gender, race, socio- economics, history and epigenetics influence one’s expression or suppression of anger and empathy, verses the body’s authentic movements of these emotions. In the first chapter of this work, which takes the form of a performance, Blake embodies and translates her archive of research and methodologies drawn from disparate sources of the scripted body language of anger, while bringing forward her and the other performers’ personal bodies’ archives. In adjacent to this archive she samples from and applies therapeutic processing of emotions through the body, such as: Dance Movement Therapy, Authentic Movement and TRE (Tension and Trauma Release Exercises).

What do our intuitive movements say about the knowledge we store in our bodies? How. do we postulate using our limbs? Is my anger my own, or is it inherited? Through the performance Blake collectively examines the relationship between ‘prescribed’ anger and empathy and their intuitive expression and generational trauma. By embodying these emotions and expressing them physically, as opposed to verbally, she attempts to free the more sensory and intuitive aspects of our behaviour while questioning the origins of our emotions.

CREDITS

Concept and direction: Alexis Blake
Choreography made with: Mami Izumi, Marika Meoli
Performers: Alexis Blake, Mami Izumi, Marika Meoli
Garments: Aviodstreet (when performed in IMMA)
Photography: Ruth Connolly

Performed in: H401 + Framer Framed, Amsterdam, NL,
BOZAR: Centre of Fine Arts, Brussels, BE,
IMMA (Irish Museum of Modern Art), Dublin, IE

Anthology of Anger — Poster Intervention
Anthology of Anger — Poster Intervention

In collaboration with the graphic designer, Paul Bailey, Blake created an A1 poster series that extends past the walls and time of the performance and into the city. The text on the posters is taken from part of the script within the performance of Anthology of Anger, which specifically highlights different cultural colloquialisms expressing anger. On each poster there are four different phrases, and the poster can be put up any way you choose to read it. Then to fix the poster on a surface, an ‘X’ is made with tape on top of the poster. This ‘X’ is used to cross through three of the phrases and highlight one phrase.

The posters were clandestinely posted around the city in different locations. The idea is that the posters are placed in different parts of the city: a church bulletin board, a hospital, school, exhibition space, gym, etc. The posters, which act as scripts, do not function as a means to “promote” or “advertise.” Rather they are a proposition and a call to act, to feel, to emote, to think.

CREDITS

Graphic Design: Paul Bailey
Photography: Alexis Blake

Anthology of Anger — Performance
Anthology of Anger — Performance

Anthology of Anger is a large-scale project that will span over time, and in its various phases, it will take the form of a series of performances, workshops, and eventually a film and publication.

Anthology of Anger explores how culture, gender, race, socio- economics, history and epigenetics influence one’s expression or suppression of anger and empathy, verses the body’s authentic movements of these emotions. In the first chapter of this work, which takes the form of a performance, Blake embodies and translates her archive of research and methodologies drawn from disparate sources of the scripted body language of anger, while bringing forward her and the other performers’ personal bodies’ archives. In adjacent to this archive she samples from and applies therapeutic processing of emotions through the body, such as: Dance Movement Therapy, Authentic Movement and TRE (Tension and Trauma Release Exercises).

What do our intuitive movements say about the knowledge we store in our bodies? How. do we postulate using our limbs? Is my anger my own, or is it inherited? Through the performance Blake collectively examines the relationship between ‘prescribed’ anger and empathy and their intuitive expression and generational trauma. By embodying these emotions and expressing them physically, as opposed to verbally, she attempts to free the more sensory and intuitive aspects of our behaviour while questioning the origins of our emotions.

CREDITS

Concept and direction: Alexis Blake
Choreography developed with: Mami Izumi, Marika Meoli
Performers: Alexis Blake, Mami Izumi, Marika Meoli
Garments: Aviodstreet (when performered in IMMA)
Photography: Sjoerd Derine

Performed in: H401 + Framer Framed, Amsterdam, NL,
BOZAR: Centre of Fine Arts, Brussels, BE,
IMMA (Irish Museum of Modern Art), Dublin, IE

Allegory of the Painted Woman — BOZAR / Performatik19 - Performance
Allegory of the Painted Woman — BOZAR / Performatik19 - Performance

Allegory of the Painted Woman is a large-scale work in several parts: a 30 minute performance for two performers and four musicians, a three channel video installation and a growing series of prints and publications.

Allegory of the Painted Woman (2012–15) is a project that began in 2012 when Alexis Blake went to Rome to research and build an archive of female poses found in historic Italian paintings and sculptures, ranging from the Renaissance to early Modernism. The archive was then used to create a physical choreography in space by piecing together the poses. Allegory of the Painted Woman translates the gestures in the historical art­works into choreography, and then into a performance, as a way to question notions of gender, representation, reproduction and seriality.

The portrayal of women in art has assumed particular archetypal roles and characters. Woman-as-mother, Madonna, temptress, prostitute, martyr, saint or goddess are classical motifs that have been painted, drawn and sculpted throughout this period of art history. More often than not, the female figure is depicted from the male’s perspective, which has resulted in the historical fixity of women’s gestures and objectification of the body.

Blake explores a body’s subjectivity through the use of repetition, displacement and abstraction as a way to simultaneously embody and critique the poses. The performance abstracts the female poses, thus attempting to de-objectify them and strip away their accompanied connotations, history and context. It invites viewers to question the social role of this figure, and to critically examine how this is still present today.

The performance is an encounter between two performers, four musicians, the audience and the space. The performance’s choreography examines the transitions, dynamics, direction and spatiality of the poses in motion through the use of repetition and varying tempos and rhythms. With Allegory of the Painted Woman, Blake aims to address, confront, contradict and question preconceived notions of a body.

CREDITS

Concept, choreography, direction: Alexis Blake
Choreographic assistance: Stephanie Lama
Dancers: Nafisha Baba, Marika Meoli
Musicians: Raphaelle Ribouillault (clarinet), Rosa Vidal (clarinet), Jean Xhonneux (tuba), Robert Visser (euphonium)
Music Score: Alexis Blake, Kirsten Gramlich, Robert Visser
Garments*: Elisa van Joolen
Garments assistant: Anouk Beckers
Production: Eddy Lievens, Anne Judong, Ingrid de Ketelaere
Assistant: Judith Roux
Curator: Anne Judong, Katleen van Langendonck
Photography: Maxime Fauconnier

Performance presented by BOZAR: Centre for Fine Arts as part of the Performatik19 – the Brussels biennial of performance art – and within the context of the exhibition: Bernard van Orley: Brussels and the Renaissance at BOZAR.

*Garments created by the fashion designer, Elisa van Joolen. She used her signature method of inking parts of the garments and then strategically layering them on top of each other before putting them through a printing press.

Allegory of the Painted Woman — BOZAR / Performatik19 - Publication
Allegory of the Painted Woman — BOZAR / Performatik19 - Publication

It is Blake’s intention to create a publication for each museum where Allegory of the Painted Woman is performed, as a means to bring the context in dialogue with the content of the work. She acknowledges, investigates and questions the historical narratives that are being generated within a museum and its collection, and how womxn are or are not included within that represented history. In the years to come, she will have developed a series of reflections on large institution’s collection of artworks and/or institutional critiques from around the world.

For the performance at BOZAR (2019), which was shown in the context of the exhibition of the Renaissance artist Bernard van Orley, Blake brought into question the systematic structures of patriarchy and the notion of visibility and exposure in relation to gender and art history. She did this by creating signatures for fictitious female artists during the time of Van Orley as a way to give space to the multiplicity of new narratives since women artists at that time were never acknowledged and thus never written into history. The names are embossed in the paper, but not in ink. Accompanying these signatures is a text written by Blake. She does this to highlight how this systematic oppression is still present today.

CREDITS

Text and embossed signatures: Alexis Blake
Design: Dongyoung Lee
Copy-editing: Duncan Brown
Photography: Vytautas Kumža
Printer: Raddraaier, Amsterdam, NL

Produced by: BOZAR: Centre for Fine Arts, Brussels, BE

Allegory of the Painted Woman — Riga Biennial - Performance
Allegory of the Painted Woman — Riga Biennial - Performance

Allegory of the Painted Woman is a large-scale work in several parts: a 30 minute performance for two performers and four musicians, a three channel video installation and a growing series of prints and publications.

Allegory of the Painted Woman (2012–15) is a project that began in 2012 when Alexis Blake went to Rome to research and build an archive of female poses found in historic Italian paintings and sculptures, ranging from the Renaissance to early Modernism. The archive was then used to create a physical choreography in space by piecing together the poses. Allegory of the Painted Woman translates the gestures in the historical art­works into choreography, and then into a performance, as a way to question notions of gender, representation, reproduction and seriality.

The portrayal of women in art has assumed particular archetypal roles and characters. Woman-as-mother, Madonna, temptress, prostitute, martyr, saint or goddess are clas­sical motifs that have been painted, drawn and sculpted throughout this period of art history. More often than not, the female figure is depicted from the male’s perspective, which has resulted in the historical fixity of women’s gestures and objectification of the body.

Blake explores a body’s subjectivity through the use of repetition, displacement and abstraction as a way to simultaneously embody and critique the poses. The performance abstracts the female poses, thus attempting to de-objectify them and strip away their accompanied connotations, history and context. It invites viewers to question the social role of this figure, and to critically examine how this is still present today.

The performance is an encounter between two performers, four musicians, the audience and the space. The performance’s choreography examines the transitions, dynamics, direction and spatiality of the poses in motion through the use of repetition and varying tempos and rhythms. With Allegory of the Painted Woman, Blake aims to address, con­front, contradict and question preconceived notions of a body.

CREDITS

CREDITS:
Concept, choreography, direction: Alexis Blake
Choreographic assistance: Stephanie Lama
Dancers: Marika Meoli, Roshanak Morrowwatian
Musicians: Raphaelle Ribouillault (clarinet), Rosa Vidal (clarinet), Raivis Māgurs (tuba), Artūrs Bērzinš (euphonium)
Music Score: Alexis Blake, Kirsten Gramlich, Robert Visser
Garments*: Elisa van Joolen (assistant: Anouk Beckers)
Assistant: Anna Politiko
Location: Lativan National Museum of Art
photography: Didzis Grodzs

Produced by The 1st Riga International Biennial of Contemporary Art, RIBOCA1 Everything Was Forever Until It Was No More, curated by Katerina Gregos; 2 June-28 Ocotber 2018.
Supported by Riga International Biennial of Contemporary Art and Mondriaan Fonds

*Garments created by the fashion designer, Elisa van Joolen. She used her signature method of inking parts of the garments and then strategically layering them on top of each other before putting them through a printing press.

Allegory of the Painted Woman — Riga Biennial - Publication
Allegory of the Painted Woman — Riga Biennial - Publication

It is Blake’s intention to create a publication for each museum where Allegory of the Painted Woman is performed, as means to bring the context in dialogue with the content of the work. She acknowledges, investigates and questions the historical narratives that are being generated within a museum and its collection, and how womxn are or are not included within that represented history. In the years to come, she will have developed a series of reflections on large institution’s collection of artworks and/or institutional critiques from around the world.

As part of the performance in the Riga Biennial (2018), Blake created a publication that brought the collection of the Latvian National Museum of Art in dialog with the archive of Allegory of the Painted Woman. Lee included Blake’s series of screen prints into the design. Blake requested the Latvian National Museum of Art to conduct research to figure out the number and percentage of works that were made by womxn within their collection. These results were included in the publication. Also included is a text about the work by the curator, writer and researcher, Alena Alexandrova.

CREDITS

Design: Dongyoung Lee
Screenprints: Alexis Blake
Text: Alena Alexandrova
Printer: Dardedze hologrāfija, LV
English editor: Justin Ions
Latvian translation: Valts Mikelsons
Russian translation: Dmitry Simanovsky
Latvian proofreader: Ieva Laube
Russian proofreader: Olga Sivel

Produced and supported by: Riga International Biennial of Contemporary Art

Photography: Vytautas Kumža

Allegory of the Painted Woman — Rijksmuseum - Performance
Allegory of the Painted Woman — Rijksmuseum - Performance

Allegory of the Painted Woman is a large-scale work in several parts: a 30 minute performance for two performers and four musicians, a three channel video installation and a growing series of prints and publications.

Allegory of the Painted Woman (2012–15) is a project that began in 2012 when Alexis Blake went to Rome to research and build an archive of female poses found in historic Italian paintings and sculptures, ranging from the Renaissance to early Modernism. The archive was then used to create a physical choreography in space by piecing together the poses. Allegory of the Painted Woman translates the gestures in the historical art­works into choreography, and then into a performance, as a way to question notions of gender, representation, reproduction and seriality.

The portrayal of women in art has assumed particular archetypal roles and characters. Woman-as-mother, Madonna, temptress, prostitute, martyr, saint or goddess are clas­sical motifs that have been painted, drawn and sculpted throughout this period of art history. More often than not, the female figure is depicted from the male’s perspective, which has resulted in the historical fixity of women’s gestures and objectification of the body.

Blake explores a body’s subjectivity through the use of repetition, displacement and abstraction as a way to simultaneously embody and critique the poses. The performance abstracts the female poses, thus attempting to de-objectify them and strip away their accompanied connotations, history and context. It invites viewers to question the social role of this figure, and to critically examine how this is still present today.

The performance is an encounter between two performers, four musicians, the audience and the space. The performance’s choreography examines the transitions, dynamics, direction and spatiality of the poses in motion through the use of repetition and varying tempos and rhythms. With Allegory of the Painted Woman, Blake aims to address, con­front, contradict and question preconceived notions of a body.

CREDITS

Concept, choreography, direction: Alexis Blake
Choreographic assistance: Stephanie Lama
Dancers: Marika Meoli, Revé Terborg
Musicians: Rita Mendes (clarinet), Heleen Oomen (clarinet), Daniel Sánchez Marcos (tuba), Gerd Wensink (euphonium)
Music Score: Alexis Blake, Kirsten Gramlich, Robert Visser
Photography: Ran Biran

Performed at the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, NL in the Gallery of Honour, 2015.
Curated by Nina Folkersma

Allegory of the Painted Woman — Rijksmuseum - Publication
Allegory of the Painted Woman — Rijksmuseum - Publication

It is Blake’s intention to create a publication for each museum where Allegory of the Painted Woman is performed, as means to bring the context in dialogue with the content of the work. She acknowledges, investigates and questions the historical narratives that are being generated within a museum and its collection, and how womxn are or are not included within that represented history. In the years to come, she will have developed a series of reflections on large institution’s collection of artworks and/or institutional critiques from around the world.

Graphic designer, Dongyoung Lee and Blake have been working with each other since 2014 to find ways of documenting Blake’s performances in a non-conventional way. For the performance in the Rijksmuseum (2015), Blake made a publication that brought the colonial and patriarchal space of the Great Hall and the Gallery of Honours to the forefront and into conversation with Allegory of the Painted Woman. Lee graphically translated the problematics of the space. Blake invited the Surinamese Dutch writer, poet and activist, Simone Zeefuik to write a text in response to the work and the colonial space of the museum. Blake also included a conversation she had with the dancers - Reve Terborg and Marika Meoli - concerning their subjective experience with the meaning and embodiment of the work.

CREDITS

Design: Dongyoung Lee
Text: Simone Zeefuik
Conversation: Alexis Blake, Marika Meoli, Revé Terborg
Printer: Raddraaier, Amsterdam, NL
Photography: Vytautas Kumža

Allegory of the Painted Woman — Jan van Eyck - Performance
Allegory of the Painted Woman — Jan van Eyck - Performance

Allegory of the Painted Woman is a large-scale work in several parts: a 30 minute performance for two performers and four musicians, a three channel video installation and a growing series of prints and publications.

Allegory of the Painted Woman (2012–15) is a project that began in 2012 when Alexis Blake went to Rome to research and build an archive of female poses found in historic Italian paintings and sculptures, ranging from the Renaissance to early Modernism. The archive was then used to create a physical choreography in space by piecing together the poses. Allegory of the Painted Woman translates the gestures in the historical art­works into choreography, and then into a performance, as a way to question notions of gender, representation, reproduction and seriality.

The portrayal of women in art has assumed particular archetypal roles and characters. Woman-as-mother, Madonna, temptress, prostitute, martyr, saint or goddess are clas­sical motifs that have been painted, drawn and sculpted throughout this period of art history. More often than not, the female figure is depicted from the male’s perspective, which has resulted in the historical fixity of women’s gestures and objectification of the body.

Blake explores a body’s subjectivity through the use of repetition, displacement and abstraction as a way to simultaneously embody and critique the poses. The performance abstracts the female poses, thus attempting to de-objectify them and strip away their accompanied connotations, history and context. It invites viewers to question the social role of this figure, and to critically examine how this is still present today.

The performance is an encounter between two performers, four musicians, the audience and the space. The performance’s choreography examines the transitions, dynamics, direction and spatiality of the poses in motion through the use of repetition and varying tempos and rhythms. With Allegory of the Painted Woman, Blake aims to address, con­front, contradict and question preconceived notions of a body.

CREDITS

Concept, choreography, direction: Alexis Blake
Choreographic assistance: Stephanie Lama
Dancers: Alexis Blake, Truus Bronkhorst, Marika Meoli
Musicians: Anais Pasanau (clarinet), Germaine Sijstermans (clarinet), Vasileios Mantoudis (tuba), Robert Visser (euphonium)
Music Score: Alexis Blake, Kirsten Gramlich, Robert Visser
Photography: Alexis Blake

Supported by the Mondriaan Fonds
Performed at the Jan van Eyck Academie as part of Open Studios, 2015.

Allegory of the Painted Woman — Oude Kerk - Performance
Allegory of the Painted Woman — Oude Kerk - Performance

Allegory of the Painted Woman is a large-scale work in several parts: a 30 minute performance for two performers and four musicians, a three channel video installation and a growing series of prints and publications.

Allegory of the Painted Woman (2012–15) is a project that began in 2012 when Alexis Blake went to Rome to research and build an archive of female poses found in historic Italian paintings and sculptures, ranging from the Renaissance to early Modernism. The archive was then used to create a physical choreography in space by piecing together the poses. Allegory of the Painted Woman translates the gestures in the historical art­works into choreography, and then into a performance, as a way to question notions of gender, representation, reproduction and seriality.

The portrayal of women in art has assumed particular archetypal roles and characters. Woman-as-mother, Madonna, temptress, prostitute, martyr, saint or goddess are clas­sical motifs that have been painted, drawn and sculpted throughout this period of art history. More often than not, the female figure is depicted from the male’s perspective, which has resulted in the historical fixity of women’s gestures and objectification of the body.

Blake explores a body’s subjectivity through the use of repetition, displacement and abstraction as a way to simultaneously embody and critique the poses. The performance abstracts the female poses, thus attempting to de-objectify them and strip away their accompanied connotations, history and context. It invites viewers to question the social role of this figure, and to critically examine how this is still present today.

The performance is an encounter between two performers, four musicians, the audience and the space. The performance’s choreography examines the transitions, dynamics, direction and spatiality of the poses in motion through the use of repetition and varying tempos and rhythms. With Allegory of the Painted Woman, Blake aims to address, con­front, contradict and question preconceived notions of a body.

CREDITS

Concept, choreography, direction: Alexis Blake
Choreographic assistance: Stephanie Lama
Dancers: Alexis Blake, Stephanie Lama
Organ musician: Kirsten Gramlich
Music Score: Alexis Blake, Kirsten Gramlich
photography: Lucas Hardonk

Supported by Amsterdam Fonds voor de Kunst (AFK)
Performed at the Oude Kerk, Amsterdam, NL, 2014.

Allegory of the Painted Woman — Oude Kerk - Publication
Allegory of the Painted Woman — Oude Kerk - Publication

It is Blake’s intention to create a publication for each museum where Allegory of the Painted Woman is performed, as means to bring the context in dialogue with the content of the work. She acknowledges, investigates and questions the historical narratives that are being generated within a museum and its collection, and how womxn are or are not included within that represented history. In the years to come, she will have developed a series of reflections on large institution’s collection of artworks and/or institutional critiques from around the world.

Created for the premiere of Allegory of the Painted Woman at the Oude Kerk in 2014, Blake and Lee’s publication opens up into a poster and contains a booklet, which are line drawing notations Blake made while choreographing the sequence of poses. On the front of the poster is the index of all of the paintings and sculptures that the poses in the choreography came from, and on the back are text fragments written by Alena Alexandrova, in response to Blake’s work and research.

CREDITS

Design: Dongyoung Lee
Text: Alena Alexandrova
Printer: Robstolk, Amsterdam, NL
Supported by: Amsterdam Fonds voor de Kunst and Jan van Eyck Academie

Photography: Vytautas Kumža

Allegory of the Painted Woman — Video Installation
Allegory of the Painted Woman — Video Installation

Allegory of the Painted Woman: The Prologue is a video based on Blake’s first phase of the choreography, which pieces together femxle poses found in historic Italian paintings and sculptures ranging from the time of Renaissance to roughly the start of Modernism. Blake developed the video using nude art models, who posed for the Accademia di Belle Arti di Roma in Rome. This video was the starting point for the performance of Allegory of the Painted Woman.

A three-channel video featuring the models with different genders, ages and body types is sequentially projected on three separate walls within a space. For the duration of the video the image jumps from one channel to the other, which causes the viewer to move their position in space in order to see the image; thus creating a choreographed movement of the viewer. Thus inviting the viewer to follow the figures and contemplate the ways the performers’ bodies oscillate between being a still image coming from history of painting to occupying a gesture in their own individual way.

CREDITS

Video – 09:36, looped; three channels projected separately
Nude models from the Accademia di Belle Arti di Roma, Rome, IT
Installation images courtesy of Tegenboschvanvreden Gallery, Amsterdam, NL

Allegory of the Painted Woman — Research
Allegory of the Painted Woman — Research

Allegory of the Painted Woman (2012–15) is a project that began in 2012 when Alexis Blake went to Rome to research and build an archive of female poses found in historic Italian paintings and sculptures, ranging from the Renaissance to early Modernism. The archive was then used to create a physical choreography in space by piecing together the female poses. Allegory of the Painted Woman translates the gestures in the historical artworks into choreography, and then into a performance, as a way to question notions of gender, representation, reproduction and seriality.

While live performances and videos are the primary manifestations of Blake's practice, these are one result of prolonged and intricate processes that are inevitably occluded from viewers. Research plays a fundamental role in Blake's work, and the more academic and theoretical elements are intentionally balanced with intuitive and visceral approaches.

CREDITS

Laban notation of Allegory of the Painted Woman's sequence.
Line drawings of poses in the sequence of Allegory of the Painted Woman.
Atelier mapping and categorising archive used to create the choreography of Allegory of the Painted Woman.
Gestural studies of weight and tension using foam.

Allegory of the Painted Woman — Screenprints
Allegory of the Painted Woman — Screenprints

Blake manipulated fabric by folding, draping and ruching it, and then placed on top of it the silkscreen frame, which had on it a rasterized image of the painting Blake used to create her choreography for Allegory of the Painted Woman. After printing the image on top of the fabric, Blake opened up the fabric. This created cuts, gaps and negative space in the image, and by doing so created a new fragmented image of the body.

A selection of prints were used in the publication made for the performance shown in the Riga Biennial at the Latvian National Museum of Art in Riga, Lativa.

CREDITS

Prints produced in Van Eyck’s Charles Nypels Lab with Margriet Thissen.
Photography: Alexis Blake, Yeb Wiersma

Allegory of the Painted Woman — Screenprints
Allegory of the Painted Woman — Screenprints

Blake manipulated fabric by folding, draping and ruching it, and then placed on top of it the silkscreen frame, which had on it a rasterised image of the painting Blake used to create her choreography for Allegory of the Painted Woman. After printing the image on top of the fabric, Blake opened up the fabric. This created cuts, gaps and negative space in the image, and by doing so created a new fragmented image of the body.

To clean the screen of access paint after printing on the fabric, Blake cleared the screen on paper and thus the ghost prints were created. No one print is the same.

CREDITS

Prints produced in Van Eyck’s Charles Nypels Lab with Margriet Thissen.

Conditons of an Ideal — Performance
Conditons of an Ideal — Performance

Among the bleached marble sculptures of the Parthenon friezes in the British Museum, Alexis Blake examines the historical white Eurocentric and gender imperialistic representation of the idealized ‘female’ body. Conditions of an Ideal is a choreography in which structured improvisations navigate between democratic group movements and individual postures, between moments of tension and balance. The group of dancers and musicians explore notions of national collective identity vs personal expression through democratic movements, principles of balance and perceptions of beauty.

As a starting point, Blake created an archive of exercises and movements starting from: Diana Watt’s 1914 book Renaissance of the Greek Ideal, which details her theories based on Greek antiquity sculptures; Dora Menzler’s 1924 booklets Body Training for women; the fascist regimes appropriated exercises of the 1930’s done by groups of women and the imagery of the frieze and pediment sculptures in the Parthenon Gallery.

"In Conditions of an Ideal, the choreographed sequences and structured improvisation unfold into variety of group movements and constellations, which modulate themselves in resonance with the rhythm of the accompaniment. The movers play with tension and balance and flirt with the poses of their iconic ancient counterparts. Then they move on to fall in the gravity of another sculptural pose, which renders the solemn presence of the body-ideal of classical Greece as a vision of a democratic community based on the beauty and freedom of bodies. The all-femxle group subtly embodies a variation of differences and resist the grip of the outlines of an ideal type. They create another figure, a figure of collective movement without a type, a figure of variation, multiplicity, a poly-synchronous body. The figures belonging to the Parthenon frieze petrified, monumental and fragmentary, testify to history and the passing of time as a process of irreversible ruination and entropy. In this sense, the sculptures too, spill out of the totality of the figure of an unachievable ideal." - Alena Alexandrova

CREDITS

Dancers Vanessa Abreu, Nandi BheBhe, Ruby Embley, Tanja Erhart, Eleni Papaioannou, Kezia Pollendine, Ellen van Schuylenburch
Musicians LuisaGerstein, Sarah Jones, Lani Rocillo
Producer Zara Truss Giles
Photography Arron Leppard

Performed in the Parthenon Gallery of the British Museum, 2016
Co-commisioned by Block Universe and Delfina Foundation
Supported by the Mondriaan Fonds and Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands

Conditons of an Ideal — Video
Conditons of an Ideal — Video

The second part of Conditions of an Ideal is a 51 minute video. In the video white rasterised images of sculptural fragments are layered on top of the footage of the performance. These fragments are from the Acropolis Museum in Athens, Greece and belong to the sculptural group of the Parthenon frieze and pediment sculptures. This layering in the video visually reunites the fragments from the Acropolis Museum with their stolen counterpart in the British Museum.

"Conditions of an Ideal is a contemplation on the potential of the body to figure and refigure itself. But this is not posited as the endlessly open horizon of a formless metamorphosis, plasticity and modulation. The work re-thinks the conditions of our ideals of bodies by entering in a critical dialogue with history, which is in fact always a double history. On one plane it is a history of the ideal as a positive retrospective fantasy, which is re-enacted as a constraint, something to strive for and to imitate. This is the long history of fixing the body through art; the female body as moving in unison with an unattainable ideal. On another plane, however, and simultaneously with the first, history is always a process of fragmentation, entropy, displacement, which opens fissures wherein we can place a critical wedge." - Alena Alexandrova

CREDITS

Concept, direction: Alexis Blake
Choreography made with dancers: Vanessa Abreu, Nandi BheBhe, Ruby Embley, Tanja Erhart, Eleni Papaioannou, Kezia Pollendine, Ellen van Schuylenburch;
Musicians: LuisaGerstein, Sarah Jones, Lani Rocillo
Producer: Zara Truss Giles

Co-commisioned by Block Universe and Delfina Foundation.
Supported by the Mondriaan Fonds and The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Conditons of an Ideal — Verbania, Italy - Performance
Conditons of an Ideal — Verbania, Italy - Performance

The first phase of Conditions of an Ideal was developed during a residency for the CROSS International Performance Award, 2015. The performance presentation, which was presented in the garden spaces of Villa San Remigio in Verbania, Italy, explored the conditions of the ideal body. The text, The Renaissance of the Greek Ideal written by Diana Watts, in 1914 was the starting point of the research and work.

The audience was guided into a choreographed movement through the dilapidated garden spaces, which were being taken over by nature. Blake and four local adolescent dancers lead the audience from one space to the next and during each chapter they performed various fragments of choreography, which Blake based on Watts’ exercises and the gardens.

CREDITS

CROSS International Performance Art Award
Verbania, Italy, 2015
1st Prize

We Will Not be Moved — Milan XXI Triennale - Performance
We Will Not be Moved — Milan XXI Triennale - Performance

We Will Not Be Moved, is an ongoing project that focuses on the relationship between individual and collective and the normation and freedom of the contemporary represented womxn’s body in resistance. As a starting point, the work contemplated – through embodiment and discourse – the vocabulary from two archives: the protest postures and formations that womxn have assumed during the history of dissidence and the New Dance Group (NDG) in New York City in the 1930’s that translated political unrest into movement.

We Will Not Be Moved, which was conceived in Milan during a workshop at ViaFarini, was first presented for the performance program, Stage as a Social Platform for the Milan XXI Triennale, 2016. The work was shown on Alberto Burri’s Teatro Continuo, which is a historical artwork/stage that once served as a site of political protests in Milan for many years in Parco Sempione.

During the workshop in Milan, Blake worked with a group of womxn - professional dancers and womxn of migrant backgrounds, who are leaders of different agencies that fight for womxn, immigrant and civil rights. During the workshop Blake used a combination of archival images from The New Dance Group and the archive that she facilitated online where anyone can contribute images of womxn protesting/demonstrating for a cause throughout history and around the globe. She used the online archive to investigate the gestural language of protests, the formations of the crowd and the slogans that are used. She had each womxn bring in their own chant in their own language, which they then abstracted as a group by means of repeating it over and over again until the words became rhythmical sounds; it became a sort of mantra, an incantation, a summoning.

http://wewillnotbemoved.tumblr.com/

The gestures and chants became a tool of communication for the participants to openly express their own personal experiences with dissonance and resistance. Through this language the participants united in their differences and found unity in their intersecting interests, shared struggles and resilience. The combination of the performer’s subjective experience meeting the expressive movements from the NDG and the explicit scripted language of gestures and formations of bodies in protest, lead to questions of political aesthetics and the normation and freedom of the body.

Some of the women still use this experience in their own work with their particular agency. For example, one participant, who works with immigrant womxn that are survivors of domestic and sexual abuse, implements the gestures from We Will Not Be Moved as a tool for the womxn to use to open up and start to process their trauma.

The aim is that parallel to the performance platform, another platform is created - one that instigates dialog, facilitates exchanges, and highlights and promotes the causes of those who are participating. Therefore, We Will Not Be Moved works and speaks on many different levels. It potentially becomes a movement in itself.

CREDITS

Concept, direction and choreography: Alexis Blake
Performers: Mar Amie, Valerie Claroni, Noura Faouzi, Francesca Lastella, Marika Meoli, Laura Pante, Carolina Ramirez, Elizabeth Rodriguez, Maru Rivas, Carolina Valencia
Producer: Simone Frangi, Giovanna Manzotti
Photography: Giulia Ferrando, Paolo Saachi

Conceived in Milan, Italy during a workshop at ViaFarini and then shown for the event, Stage as a Social Platform for the Milan XXI Triennale, 2016. The work was shown on Alberto Burri’s Teatro Continuo in Parco Sempione.
Curated by Simone Frangi, Tommaso Sacchi, Gabi Scardi
Curatorial assistant: Giovanna Manzotti

We Will Not be Moved — Milan XXI Triennale - Workshop
We Will Not be Moved — Milan XXI Triennale - Workshop

During the workshop in Milan, Blake worked with a group of womxn - professional dancers and womxn of migrant backgrounds, who are leaders of different agencies that fight for womxn, immigrant and civil rights. During the workshop Blake used a combination of archival images from The New Dance Group and the archive that she facilitated online where anyone can contribute images of womxn protesting/demonstrating for a cause throughout history and around the globe. She used the online archive to investigate the gestural language of protests, the formations of the crowd and the slogans that are used. She had each womxn bring in their own chant in their own language, which they then abstracted as a group by means of repeating it over and over again until the words became rhythmical sounds; it became a sort of mantra, an incantation, a summoning.

The gestures and chants became a tool of communication for the participants to openly express their own personal experiences with dissonance and resistance. Through this language the participants united in their differences and found unity in their intersecting interests, shared struggles and resilience. The combination of the performer’s subjective experience meeting the expressive movements from the NDG and the explicit scripted language of gestures and formations of bodies in protest, lead to questions of political aesthetics and the normation and freedom of the body.

CREDITS

Participants: Mar Amie, Valerie Claroni, Noura Faouzi, Francesca Lastella, Marika Meoli, Laura Pante, Carolina Ramirez, Elizabeth Rodriguez, Maru Rivas, Carolina Valencia
Producer: Simone Frangi, Giovanna Manzotti
Photography: Giulia Ferrando

Supported and commissioned by ViaFarini.
Made into a performance and shown for the performance program, Stage as a Social Platform for the Milan XXI Triennale, 2016. The work was shown on Alberto Burri’s Teatro Continuo in Parco Sempione.
Curated by Simone Frangi, Tommaso Sacchi, Gabi Scardi
Curatorial assistant: Giovanna Manzotti

We Will Not be Moved — Stedelijk Museum Schiedam - Performance
We Will Not be Moved — Stedelijk Museum Schiedam - Performance

We Will Not Be Moved, is an ongoing project that focuses on the relationship between individual and collective and the normation and freedom of the contemporary represented womxn’s body in resistance. As a starting point, the work contemplated – through embodiment and discourse – the vocabulary from two archives: the protest postures and formations that womxn have assumed during the history of dissidence and the New Dance Group (NDG) in New York City in the 1930’s that translated political unrest into movement.

For the occasion of the Volkskrant Prize, Blake presented a simplified adaptation of We Will Not Be Moved during the opening at the Stedelijk Museum Schiedam, 2016. For this performance Blake invited individuals, who are based in the Netherlands and fighting for human rights in the intersectional sectors of: women, race, LGBTIQ and immigration. As part of the process, the group would meet to discuss issues surrounding their personal work and the intersections between them. For the performance, the group marched into the Stedelijk Museum Schiedam’s courtyard from the street while embodying the language and vocalising abstracted slogans that had been choreographed.

CREDITS

Performers: Alexis Blake,
Aynouk Tan - fashion journalist, lecturer, curator, activist and occasional pineapple,
Clarice Gargard - journalist, filmmaker, presenter, writer on identity politics concerning gender, race and sexual fluidity, advocating for equality and broadening perspective,
Dounia Jari - founder of Stichting Maruf for Queer Muslims,
Luca Sudant - activist, researcher, PhD candidate,
Lucy Mung'ala - Women’s Empowerment Programme Development Manager at HIVOS; focusing on sexual rights, gender, human rights and movement building;
Marika Meoli - dancer,
Paz Bernaldo - social designer focusing on tech and science justice, power and collective action,
Simon(e) van Saarloos - writer, presenter and activist
Garments: Lisa Konno, Alexis Blake
Producer: Bonny Dumanaw

Presented during the Opening of the exhibition of the Volkskrant Prize at Stedelijk Museum Schiedam, 2016.
Blake was one of the 5 nominees for the Volkskrant Prize, 2016.

We Will Not be Moved — Screenprinted Garments
We Will Not be Moved — Screenprinted Garments

Blake collaborated with the fashion designer, Lisa Konno to make the garments, which were worn by the participants in the performance and hung afterwards in the exhibition. The handmade screen-printed fabric by Blake are patterns constructed from the hand gestures within the choreography in the performance. Konno ’s design reflects the protest sandwich boards occasionally worn by protesters.

CREDITS

Fashion designer: Lisa Konno
Screenprints: Alexis Blake
Model: Revé Terborg
Photography: Alexis Blake

Screenprints produced in Van Eyck’s Printing & Publishing Lab with Margriet Thissen.

she who has no crown — Riga Biennial: Part One – LP record
she who has no crown — Riga Biennial: Part One – LP record

The Latvian National Museum of Art’s collection from 1945–90 (the time of the Soviet Union occupation in Latvia) and works by women absent from this collection, are examined and re-imagined by Alexis Blake in her work, she who has no crown. Blake investigates how women were depicted as subjects commensurate with and in opposition to the ideological rule of the Socialist Realism doctrine.

Commissioned by the 1st Riga Biennial, she who has no crown is a work in two parts: an LP record and a live broadcast performance heard on Latvian national radio, online, and in Riga’s public space, outside the former Faculty of Biology of the University of Latvia on October 28th, 2018. In the public space, the broadcast is played on former public service announcement speakers used during the Soviet era.

In keeping with the history of underground culture in USSR, where prohibited music was circulated illegally on gramophone recordings made from discarded medical x-ray films, Blake’s LP evolved from the notion of absence: the absence of the body and the absence of multiple narratives and subjectivities both in (art) history and within contemporary times, especially when it comes to gender and sexuality.

she who has no crown seeks to fill the public and private space with the sound of alternative narratives by sonically exploring questions of (in)visibility and censorship in relation to gender, self-expression, sexuality and national narratives.

who is this woman? who is she behind the layers of paint, underneath the fixity of gestures, beyond the frame set upon her?

CREDITS

Concept, text, voice: Alexis Blake
Sound design*: ELVI (Elviss Zants)
Mixed by: ELVI (Elviss Zants)
Edited by: Alexis Blake, ELVI (Elviss Zants)
Mastering Engineer: ELVI (Elviss Zants), Semikols Record Pressing
Recording Engineer: Roman Shmelyov
Assistant: Anna Politiko
Design: Gaile Pranckunaite, Mislav Žugaj
Visuals: x-ray and thermal images of Blake’s body, Thermografie Amsterdam
Latvian translation: Valts Mikelsons

Produced by The 1st Riga International Biennial of Contemporary Art, RIBOCA1 Everything Was Forever Until It Was No More, curated by Katerina Gregos; 2 June-28 Ocotber 2018.
Supported by Riga International Biennial of Contemporary Art and Mondriaan Fonds

*All sounds in this recording were produced by using the recorded voice of Alexis Blake. No synthesis or instruments were used other than modulation of the recorded voice.

she who has no crown — Riga Biennial: Part Two – Live broadcast
she who has no crown — Riga Biennial: Part Two – Live broadcast

The Latvian National Museum of Art’s collection from 1945–90 (the time of the Soviet Union occupation in Latvia) and works by women absent from this collection, are examined and re-imagined by Alexis Blake in her work, she who has no crown. Blake investigates how women were depicted as subjects commensurate with and in opposi­tion to the ideological rule of the Socialist Realism doctrine.

Commissioned by the 1st Riga Biennial, she who has no crown is a work in two parts: an LP record and a live broadcast performance heard on Latvian national radio, online, and in Riga’s public space, outside the former Faculty of Biology of the University of Latvia on October 28th, 2018. In the public space, the broadcast is played on former public service announcement speakers used during the Soviet era.

The live broadcast—a collaboration with Russian singer/poet, Lisokot and Latvian sound artist, ELVI (Elviss Zants)—collages together tracks from the LP, re-worked historical Latvian Folk Songs; and covers and sampled sound works by female artists from the Latvian counterculture during the Soviet era.

In keeping with the history of underground culture in USSR, where prohibited music was circulated illegally on gramophone recordings made from discarded medical x-ray films, Blake’s LP evolved from the notion of absence: the absence of the body and the absence of multiple narratives and subjectivities both in (art) history and within contem­porary times, especially when it comes to gender and sexuality.

she who has no crown seeks to fill the public and private space with the sound of altern­ative narratives by sonically exploring questions of (in)visibility and censorship in rela­tion to gender, self-expression, sexuality and national narratives.

The audio file played is one song (Folk Song No. 1) from the live broadcast. It is a re-working of a Lativan Folk Song:
Brālits jāja apkārt jūŗu,
Smuku sievu mekledams,
Kas neēda, kas nedzēra,
Kas miedziņu neguleja.
Vējš neēda, vējš nedzēra,
Ūdens miegu neguleja.

English translation: a brother searches across the seas for a pretty wife who doesn’t eat, doesn’t drink and doesn’t sleep; it is the wind that doesn’t eat and doesn’t drink, it is water that doesn’t sleep.

In this song ElVI’s modulated sampled version of the recording, Labvakar, Latvija / Good Evening, Lativa (the intro song of the famous TV show) is heard. Lisokot’s sings on top of it while the recorded spoken voices of Blake, ELVI and Lisokot recite the folk song in their mother-tongue language. This piece does not use any other instrumentation but the modulation of the recording of the TV show’s theme song.

CREDITS

Concept, text, voice: Alexis Blake
Sound design: ELVI (Elviss Zants)
Singer, voice: Lisokot
Composition of songs: Lisokot, ELVI (Elviss Zants)
Assistant: Anna Politiko

Produced by The 1st Riga International Biennial of Contemporary Art, RIBOCA1 Everything Was Forever Until It Was No More, curated by Katerina Gregos; 2 June-28 Ocotber 2018.
Supported by Riga International Biennial of Contemporary Art and Mondriaan Fonds

she who has no crown — Riga Biennial - Workshop
she who has no crown — Riga Biennial - Workshop
CREDITS

Concept, direction: Alexis Blake
Assistant: Anna Politiko

Produced by The 1st Riga International Biennial of Contemporary Art, RIBOCA1 Everything Was Forever Until It Was No More, curated by Katerina Gregos; 2 June-28 Ocotber 2018.
Supported by Riga International Biennial of Contemporary Art and Mondriaan Fonds

How to Handle an Object — Screenprints
How to Handle an Object — Screenprints

During the exhibition at Van Eyck Gallery, participants and staff of the building were invited by Blake to handle an object, which they used on a daily basis, within the exhibition space. The daily ‘handlings’ were used as a method to create a choreography. For the final ‘handling’ Blake reviewed the previous ‘handlings’, and allocated the number of the ‘handling’ with one movement. Blake also created a symbol notation for the action. The numbers were then used to create a score in the space. This score was performed as the final ‘handling’.

The silkscreen posters traced and announced the 21 daily ‘handlings’ for the duration of the exhibition, and became the score of the piece.

CREDITS

Graphic design: Dongyoung Lee, Alexis Blake
Prints produced in Van Eyck’s Charles Nypels Lab with Margriet Thissen.

How to Handle an Object — Performance Series of "handlings"
How to Handle an Object — Performance Series of "handlings"

A performance and a series of object-‘handlings’ that diffuse the boundaries between the space of exhibiting and the space of utility, stage and audience.

‘Handling’ - an exploratory and/or commonly known action that is performing itself; can change depending on the cultural relation between the object and subject.

During the exhibition at Van Eyck Gallery, participants and staff of the building were invited by Blake to handle an object, which they used on a daily basis, within the exhibition space. The daily ‘handlings’ were used as a method to create a choreography. For the final ‘handling’ Blake reviewed the previous ‘handlings’, and allocated the number of the ‘handling’ with one movement. These numbers were then used to create a score in the space. This score was performed as the final ‘handling’.

The silkscreen posters traced and announced the 21 daily ‘handlings’ for the duration of the exhibition, and became the score of the piece.

CREDITS

Performers: Anna Bak, Alexis Blake, Ilke Gers, Miriam Hartwig, Martin La Roche Contreras, Sanne Vaassen
Sculpture produced in Van Eyck’s Material Matters Lab with Ron Bernstein.