Untitled at Hofesh Shechter Company Online
“You can find the remains of those memories in the faces of the people across the room. Faces never lie. Sometimes life can be f***ing hard,” Hofesh Shechter’s voice tells us. We are on Zoom watching an empty structure made out of screens, each one showing a member of the audience. We watch a room that is both empty and full of people as the camera zooms into one participant’s face. Futuristic techno music plays in the background and one can almost hear electronic chirping, like some android bees have broken into the soundtrack.
Untitled is a short performance art piece. Instead of being hampered by current restrictions, this work makes use of them by creating a virtual audience which is also part of the show itself. Inside this screen-walled installation, a dancer who Shechter introduces as Elisabetta performs. She crawls, writhes, leaps and makes frantic, repeated movements. Sometimes she runs around the space, while at other moments she stands, watching the screens watching her.
The camera moves with the dancer, sometimes moving towards her and sometimes spinning in circles to create a dizzy, disorientated effect. Shechter guides us through the piece, which is made up of three sections: love, life and death. He speaks directly to us as Elisabetta moves, creating an intimate insight into his work.
This performance is a mix of digital art, contemporary dance and spoken word. The space is eerily lit by the blue light from our screens, while the colour scheme is dark. The show is a somewhat pretentious, intimate exploration of life in our current world. We cannot physically be in the performance space together and yet we are united through the power of technology.
Untitled is a piece of art which wouldn’t feel out of place in the Tate Modern. It combines dance and digital sculpture in a way that harnesses current events to explore timeless themes of life. We are alone, yet we are together.
Photo: Ulrich Geischë
Hofesh Shechter’s Untitled is being live-streamed from 24th September until 25th September 2020. For further information or to book visit the Hofesh Shecter Company’s website here.