Leg Room, by Anna Bruinsma
The door swings open to reveal a steep staircase descending into darkness. At the bottom is a mattress with the projection of a gyrating girl, limbs splayed- it changes to a woman lost behind a fence, then to feet, camera spinning on the ground. Behind you is a flickering glimpse of shrubbery rustling in the wind- the imagined breeze wafts around the heavy black solids that divide the room. Immersion into the show involves the careful navigation of these forms. Brightly faceted with color on top, they display the projectors insouciantly, waiting for your audience. You feel the rise of an almost instinctual mathematical awareness of space- a physical response to the flattening of movement through film against an expansion of dimension created by the cube plinths. Loops of videos have been choreographed to run in tandem, brushing up against each other in brief conversation. The dancing bodies blithely ignore you standing mute in the shadows, transfixed by patterns of light, absorbing quietly.
Jonathon Hornedo comes to stand next to you for a chat before the opening, and the two of you watch Paul Evans greet some early visitors. The curatorial pair commissioned each of the videos specifically for the exhibition: under a minute, on the subject of dance and movement- the results ruffle you with short, seductive spurts. Jonathon tells you about accidentally taking a pop dance class, and finding a surprising amount of enjoyment in the process- he shows you some moves that are reminiscent of Martha Graham. He laughs, and you feel the undercurrent of gentle sophistication and a quiet wit.
Anna Bruinsma: “Are you the choreographers?”
Jonathon: “Choreography, while being an inherent principle for organizing and designing motion sequences, became an analogy for what it’s like to organize an art show. We didn’t tell the artists how to dance; we designed a simple structure for the artists to choreograph within. Paul and I are really into delegating the creative burden as needed.”
Paul: “Jonathon and I both wanted to curate a video exhibition and while in the course of talking it seemed we somehow had some curiosity with dance/movement. For this exhibition I was interested in exploiting the idea of dance because of a moment in my life when dancing become something more than just a liberating or celebratory act. I became interested in the intense connections we make, the politics involved in dance and the possible negative repercussions surrounding it. The entire process, from beginning to end, has been one big negotiation of movement.”
Anna: “Tell me your highlight of the show…I want to describe to someone who isn’t here.”
Jonathon: “Someone grabbed my chest inappropriately, and David Bell gave me his beard via handshake.”
Paul: “The highlight for me was observing visitors navigating the space. At first people were tentative to walk around the room but as more people arrived, some become comfortable and moved about freely while others still were self-conscious and aware of where they were in reference to the projectors, sculptures and audience. We were also able to subtly illuminate the façade of Jonathon’s building to lure visitors to his space. This was a nice element to exploit as well.”