How do you activate a white cube gallery space? In this film, artist Mika Tajima works with two amateur contortionists to create a series of dance-like movements that respond to her sculptural installation of re-purposed vintage office cubicles and ergonomic chairs. The performance is the culmination of a long and delicate exchange between the artist and her multiple collaborators, with Mika proposing the idea to her gallery over the phone and months later directing the performers to improvise a series of a poses only hours before the event. Beginning with simple positions, the contortionists' bodies begin to take on striking shapes as music by Mika's music collective New Humans asserts a steady rhythm.

Mika Tajima (b. 1975, Los Angeles, California, USA) lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.

CREDITS | “New York Close Up” Created & Produced by: Wesley Miller & Nick Ravich. Editor: Mary Ann Toman. Cinematography: Jarred Alterman & Andrew David Watson. Key Grip: John Marton. Sound: Wesley Miller & Nick Ravich. Associate Producer: Ian Forster. Production Assistant: Paulina V. Ahlstrom, Don Edler & Maren Miller. Design: Open. Artwork: Mika Tajima. Music: New Humans. Thanks: Christopher Bousquet, Howie Chen & Tony Mitchell. An Art21 Workshop Production. © Art21, Inc. 2011. All rights reserved.

“New York Close Up” is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. Additional support provided by The 1896 Studios & Stages.

For more info: art21.org/newyorkcloseup

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