Jan 2018, '23° WEST', Sawtooth ARI, Launceston, TASMANIA
23 West brings together Australian interdisciplinary artist Vanessa White, Finnish choreographer Favela Vera Ortiz and Icelandic performer Thora Solveig Bergsteinsdottir. The work was filmed in the West region of Iceland around Snæfellsjökull (the glacier) and National Park.
In a landscape rendered treeless by generations of human land use and millennia of successive glaciations White, Vera Ortiz and Bergsteinsdottir create a work that uses location, movement, and an expanded video mise en scene to enact an inner landscape. They perform visually and bodily the process of navigating the terrain of emotion, thought and ideas creating for the viewer a rich imaginary space where it is possible to inhabit the work as a psychic theatre to reflect on a personal relationship to navigating the passing of time.
Bergsteinsdottir and Vera Ortiz devise a Butoh influenced language of movement which with the continuous repetition of falling, standing, grappling with the landscape and contemplation evokes a Beckett like stoicism. I can’t go on. I’ll go on.
White expands the timeframe of the movement and the editing so that actions occur simultaneously outside linear time. Viewers experience both the movements of Bergsteinsdottir and the landscape itself as a floating continuum of associations allowing the work to form a more abstract totality. One where both the metaphor and the physical actualities of movement and landscape combine to create the work.
Dancer: Thora Solveig Bergsteinsdottir
Choreographer: Favela Vera Ortiz
Videographer/editor: Vanessa White
Music and sound: Michael Havir and Ania Reynolds. Mixed by Michael Havir