Benjamin Ord, Salome Tanuvasa, and Uniform
A Dance But No Figure

6 March – 30 March 2024

Featuring a new film combining Super 8 and 4K digital footage by Benjamin Ord, Bathing Solo (1, 2, 3) re-stages a three part dance solo inside a steam room, allowing the heat and humidity inside the bathhouse to damage the film stock and obscure the view of the dance. The film probes the limits of the camera’s ability to capture a live body, where the fleeting, impermanent nature of steam stands in opposition to the camera’s ability to capture it. In evoking what is seen and unseen, choreographic form is both partially erased by and embedded within the materiality of the film itself. As it moves fluidly through temporal states of past, present and future, the work is simultaneously a document, performance and score.

The opening night of the exhibition features a live sound performance by Uniform in response to the film. The recording of this improvised act is later installed into the gallery space and left as an intermittent looping presence throughout the exhibition. Salome Tanuvasa simultaneously performs the making of a series of gestural drawings that respond to the audience as they are submerged in the soundscape of Uniform’s performance and the visual field of the film. These drawings act as recordings of liveness which are abandoned and left to remain in the space for the following weeks of the exhibition. Holding space as both objects for now, and scores for future iterations, the live event and choreography are contained within a constant process of rematerialisation across multiple forms.

Stemming from research into the global resurgence of public bathing, the exhibition explores ideas of communal embodiment inherent to these radical democratic practices of anti-competition, anti-hierarchy, and anti-privatisation. By taking choreography as a tool for self-enactment, where the creative act relates to a group as opposed to the self-contained individual, the exhibition aims to consider art making as an activity rather than a finality or production line. In perpetual slippages between abstraction and representation, the internal and external, body and object, A Dance But No Figure stages artworks which are continually lost, held and reformed in subtle gestures towards futurity.

Images by Ardit Hoxha