'An indeterminate zone, frozen, governed by history’s Law where escape requires of us to float, as if just above the ground. It is a location devoid of humanity, only dancing avatars: an analogue stage choreographed in the digital. Stress levels exceeded as vectors take opposite directions…'The past imposes on the present like a dream folding time in on itself. Uncertainties permeate, the ethereal is made solid, and the fixed turns out to be no more than a set of coordinates. Old utopian possibilities become nostalgia as confidence in the present collapses. Here, as one landscape of authority occupies another, one apparently Cartesian, the other, an endless simulacrum of possibilities, we experience our lightness of being. We are escape artists making it up as we go along. The heroic quest for new horizons has gone virtual, while the past piles up at our feet like Benjamin’s angel. Disembodied, our sense of place can no longer be located as history and gravity give up their influence.Richard Ducker’s practice brings together a variety of processes that are juxtaposed to evoke narratives and explore multiple positions. Sculptural forms adopt science fiction cinematic tropes, while wall texts articulate the anxiety of information overload, and other elements such as sound and video suggest paranoiac excess. Past and future are locked in a theatrical spectacle, with nostalgia and anxiety used as tools to unpick the present. Here there are references to the Cold War, the scientific certainties and dreams of technical ‘progress’ of the early space race, coded statist control, and our present where images and knowledge are not to be trusted.Ruth Gibson & Bruno Martelli travel in the virtual to explore foreign landscapes, a mapped topography where physical place is converted into the alien, navigating between flesh and data. Through dance, sonic, digital and film their work considers the spaces that are particular to our movement in the world, capturing a complex sense of presence. Here, they play out in the cinematic landscape of Central Otago, de-territorialised in synthetic Mocap suits to become a camouflaged palette. Gibson & Martelli explore how the figure, through the digital double, navigates both real and virtual landscapes. This process often dissolves the separation between the spectator and spectacle: they use the term viewer, player, user, and performer interchangeably, immersion and interactivity is a key element of their practice. WAHAWAEWAO is created by an international collaboration with artists from New Zealand: composer Russell Scoones & choreographer Carol Brown, with performers: Cassidy Scoones, Jenny Roche, Grant McLay, Ruth Gibson, Carol Brown.
- artistic practice
- New Zealand