2019 Cairo, Egypt
A live work executed by 8 volunteer participants, moving in concert and collaboration with each other to negotiate a space of physical constraint through creative counteraction.
Duration: approximately 30 minutes
The work consists of 3 series of 8 coordinated group movements within a square arena crisscrossed with taught elastic cords. The lengths of the cord intersect within the square in patterns of scared geometry, which are made increasingly complex as the work evolves. The participants, symmetrically positioned at the outset, are asked to interact with each other as they are led through a sequence of movements designed to alter the original pattern by imposing new geometrical compositions on the underlying structure. Each new composition is an abstract figure (such as “phoenix”, “scarab”, “butterfly…etc.) based on a pre-existing schema which the participants cooperate to reproduce in space. To achieve each new expression, the participants must simultaneously change positions inside the arena and push their bodies against the cord to distort the tense geometry and physically connect to each other. Waist-deep in the elastic “pool” the participants shift locations by dragging the cords with their bodies, generating increased tension and resistance to the emerging shape. Participants are energetically connected to each other through the transfer of tension, and are forced to intuitively calibrate their position in relation to each other. Using each other’s strength by clasping hands or locking arms to consolidate the counter-figure, they momentarily fasten their collective formations, producing a flowering sequence of living diagrams.
Using perceptive and responsive movement to attain a joint configuration, participants are continually seeking to confront the resistance of the boundaries in order to impose a counter-network of human bonding.
Performed at the Cairo Biennale of 2019, the work counted with the collaboration of musician Meedoo Ishmael, whose segments of percussion and voice frame each position from entry to release.
The work evolves in 3 separate but consecutive acts, corresponding to the 3 layers of cord drawings within the square. Each act is composed of 8 movements, each movement lasting 1 minute.