material / rearranged / to / be

Siobhan Davies (Choreographer), Andrea Buckley (Choreographer), Charlie Morrissey (Choreographer), Matthias Sperling (Choreographer), Emma Smith (Artist), Jeremy Millar (Artist), Helka Kaski (Choreographer), Efrosini Protopapa (Choreographer), Tim Simpson (Designer), Sarah van Gameren (Designer), Pano Masti (Performer)

Research output: Practice-Based and Non-textual ResearchPerformance


material / rearranged / to / be is a performance installation created by Siobhan Davies in collaboration with five choreographers, two visual artists and a designer duo. The work is Davies’ most ambitious proposal to date in terms of scale and complexity. Davies invited the other artists to create new works alongside her to combine into a constantly changing installation for galleries. The work toured to four UK venues. Elements of the work have continued to appear and develop through workshops, exhibitions and performances nationally and internationally.

The work takes as starting point neuroscientific understandings about how the body and mind work together to communicate, informed by dialogues with scientists including Guy Claxton, Guido Orgs, Anil Seth, and Manos Tsakiris. The dance artists explored how their special capacity enables them to tune their bodies to communicate their embodied sensing and knowing. The other artists brought interdisciplinary collaboration and perspectives. These ideas were further informed by the work of German art historian Aby Warburg, especially his Mnemosyne Atlas, a collection of thousands of images of humans gesturing from the history of art and popular culture. Warburg used these images set in dynamic relation to one another to chart gestures across time and space, arguing for universal embodied communication. These ideas, images, and changing relationships within the Atlas all informed the artists’ individual works and the way they were presented in changing relation in the installation.

Siobhan Davies convened the group of artists and worked with them to devise the structure for the work. She also created a body of work presented within it in collaboration with dance artist Helka Kaski. In Figuring Davies and Kaski created three short performances, each addressing the idea of communicative gestures and postures ‘welling up’ within them, drawing on memories and feeling in the performative situation.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jan 2017

Additional Information

Tour Dates:
Barbican Curve, London: 20-28 January 2017
Tramway, Glasgow: 22-30 April 2017
The Whitworth, University of Manchester: 6-14 May 2017
Bluecoat, Liverpool:1-9 July 2017

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