material / rearranged / to / be: Barbican ← Performance ← Siobhan Davies Dance

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Sun 17 Oct 2021

Studios open 10am–8pm

material / rearranged / to / be: Barbican
20–28 Jan 2017

The Curve, Barbican

Monday - Thursday: 12pm–6pm
Friday: 2pm–8pm
Saturday to Sunday 12-6pm
No booking required 

Siobhan Davies Dance premieres an ambitious new performance installation comprised of multiple contributions by choreographers, visual artists and designers.

Exploring our bodies' capacity to communicate, the work includes performance, film projection, and sculptural objects that are presented as an ever-changing arrangement. Visitors enter the gallery and are immersed in a live environment that evolves around them.

Artist Jeremy Millar provides a structure and concept for the work inspired by the practices of the art historian Aby Warburg. Warburg collected diverse images of human gestures and poses from different times and places, positioning them side by side to allow new relationships to emerge, and explore how meanings are constituted by the movement of imagery across time and space. In a similar spirit, material / rearranged / to / be presents a large-scale, modular architecture which is continually arranged and rearranged by the artists, creating new pathways through the installation and drawing visitors into a journey of discovery. The constantly altering juxtapositions mean that few visitors will have the same experience.

The artists and choreographers in material / rearranged / to / be have combined Warburg’s ideas on bodily communication with the latest research in neuroscience to investigate how movement is felt, observed, and we reveal and conceal thought in physical behaviour.

Works include choreographies on concepts of instability and disorientation, how we archive or remember past movement, along with a taxonomy of imaginary actions. Performers engage directly with the public inviting them to participate in the bodily postures and rhythms associated with argument, or to think about how we feel in relation to the actions of another through everyday activities like shaking hands. A looped video projection that oscillates in the space between live movement and recorded image highlights how our embodied intelligence anticipates future events. A lustrous black, mobile is suspended from the ceiling, its forms derived from Albrecht Dürer’s Melencolia I (1514), one of the most influential images in Warburg's art historical system.

material / rearranged / to / be features works by choreographers Andrea Buckley, Siobhan Davies, Helka Kaski, Charlie Morrissey, Efrosini Protopapa, and Matthias Sperling; visual artists Jeremy Millar, Emma Smith, and design duo Glithero (Tim Simpson and Sarah van Gameren). Contributing fellows include Professor Jonathan Cole (neurophysiologist), Professor Guy Claxton (cognitive scientist), Dr. Scott deLahunta (dance theorist), Guido Orgs (cognitive psychologist) and Professor Anil Seth (neuroscientist).

With thanks to generous support from Cockayne – Grants for the Arts and The London Community Foundation.

Efrosini Protopapa’s work is generously supported by Stavros Niarchos Foundation.

Supported using public funding by Arts Council England.

Presented in collaboration with Tramway.

In association with the Warburg Institute. The Warburg Institute is part of the School of Advanced Study, University of London.

‘...she remains one of the most curious choreographers out there, her work, like the woman herself, unflashy and intelligent, her inquisitiveness reaching places dance doesn’t often go.’ Lyndsey Winship, The Guardian

‘There's an intrepidness to Davies, a constant receptiveness to new information and new mediums. ’ Laura Allsop, Another Mag

‘A world of small details asking big questions.’ Lyndsey Winship, Evening Standard

‘In an age when we're seeing a lift in the quality of design-dance collaborations Glithero's intimate partnership with Davies provides a unique perspective on the way performance and design can merge." ’ Elly Parsons, Wallpaper

Venue info

The Curve, Barbican
Silk Street
London EC2Y 8DS
Venue website

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