Watch an exclusive preview of Cecilia Bengolea’s panoramic triptych installation documenting dancehall as a global practice.
Over the last ten years Cecilia Bengolea has collaborated with a wide variety of dancehall DJs and dancers, engaging with the genre holistically and underlining it as a global artistic practice in which sound and movement are equally important.
Oneness is Bengolea’s documentation of this global practice, a six-hour video archive presented in the form of a panoramic triptych installation in which videos are shown in an algorithmically-generated sequence. Captured across various locations in Jamaica, including Kingston, Bogwalk, the Alligator Head Foundation and the TBA21 Academy, dance footage is juxtaposed with choreography created in collaboration with the Jamaican national synchronised swimming team, emphasising the fluidity of both the movements of dancehall, as well as the dynamism of dancehall culture.
“Working on steps is just one part of the endeavour to synchronise and compose ourselves within a state of greater liquidity”, explains Bengolea. “The movements I’m drawn to are those in which the body is driven by a physical intelligence of its own.”
“Through ritual and repetition, arms, legs and torso seem to develop an independent memory”, she continues. “Relieved of the cumbersome call and response mechanism that separates action from thought, the body begins to describe a life of its own.”
Featuring contributions from Equinoxx, Craig Black Eagle, PrettyPrettyStickyWhine, Famouss, Toni O’Meally, Elite Team Dance Factory, Overload Skankaz Oshane, Winky Equanoxx and many more, Bengolea brings together a huge variety of dance styles, dancers and environments, presenting them in a single, cohesive vision. “The beginning and ends of the spiritual and the profane dance are here”, she says, “forgone in favour of an actualisation of a polymorphous erotic identity – conforming a collective body.”
Commissioned by The Vinyl Factory, the Fonds Cantonal d’Art Contemporain of Geneva and TBA21, a preview of Oneness was debuted at the CEVA orbital railway station in Geneva as temporary installation as part of the Mire program. Oneness will be showing at 180 The Strand in spring next year.
For more information about Cecilia Bengolea and her work you can follow her on Instagram.
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