HD, 5:23 min, sound, 2016,
Dancers: Katie Philps, Ilya Krouglikov, Melanie Lebrun, Keven Lee
Four people are gathering in a vast room. Suddenly one gets weak and is about to collapse. The others try to keep her upright, though two of them cannot use their hands and arms, whereas the third one can only use her/his hands and nothing else. Their movements result in a chaotic and intimate, sometimes violent, at other times sensual struggle, like a dance of caring and indifference.
All four move like one organism, an entity, which experiences a sick member or limb, and trying to regain functionality. The imposed restrictions of not using hands or body create a very fragile situation in which one’s movement that is not inline with the others can lead to falling and failure. Once a person falls it is impossible to bring her up. Their clothing suggests an office or corporate environment in which their extremely busy but disengaged actions of helping are an obligation rather than a selfless, human reaction.
Bettina Hoffmann’s videos are located at the intersection of photography, sculpture, film, dance and theatre. She is filming carefully choreographed movements of people in constructed spaces to facilitate the examination of the underlying mechanisms of social relations, conflicts and communication.
Originally from Berlin, Germany, Bettina Hoffmann is based in Montreal, Canada.
Her work was exhibited in group and solo shows in Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, England, Rumania, South Korea, the USA and Canada. Solo exhibitions include e.g.Touch at gallery Occurrence, 2016, Drain at Oboro, Montreal, 2014, Émile, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, 2009, Décalage at Dazibao, Mois de la Photo à Montréal, 2007, at Prefix Institute of Contemporary Art, Toronto, and Kristi Engel Gallery, Los Angeles, 2008.
Her videos were presented at festivals and video art fairs internationally, e.g. Video Art Award Sculpture Museum Marl, Germany, Crossroads, Film Festival at the Cinematheque San Francisco, USA, Movement on Screen in Liverpool, UK, Les Rendez-vous du cinéma québécois (Montréal), European Media Art Festival in Osnabrück (Germany), Opere Nuove - No Words, Centro Culturale Trevi, Bolzano, Italy, Première vue Montreal, Espace SD, Beirut, Lebanon and at VideoLisboa in Lisbon (Portugal), and several times at the VAD video festival, Girona, Spain.
Her work is in several private and public collections in both North America and Europe. e.g. the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, Musée national des beaux-arts de Québec, and Berlinische Galerie in Berlin.
Hoffmann received a Master of Fine Arts degree from Hochschule der Künste, Berlin and attended both the California Institute of the Arts, Los Angeles and the Rijksakademie van beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam.
More details of her CV at http://bettinahoffmann.net/cv2015.html
More work on http://bettinahoffmann.net/