Body – Transforming – Gesture
Text by Eric Lewis
«“The Body is the most personal place that you can express from”, S. Safdie
Continuing her decades-long investigation into the ways artistic media can uncover the continuities between the human and the natural, and the power of gesture to reveal that which is obscure to the naked eye, this collection of videos, photos and sculptures invites us to interrogate the intentionalities and commonalities behind artistic form and human expression. Exploring the ways gestures unfold in both space and time, these works distillthe rich meanings and implications of gesture into images, both created and captured, but always subject to Safdie’s subtle yet purposeful manipulation. » [...]
«The video Body/Stone/Water effects a subtle transformation of Safdie’s own body into stone, her corporeal gestures merging with and suggesting the form of the stone. The sculptures in this exhibit from the series Heads, work in reverse, transforming stone into body via careful manipulations of form and the gestures inherent in them. Here Safdie reveals the power of frozen gestures to reveal the living and changing; the sculpted heads act as three-dimensional stills from the video.
The video series Morning in Varanasi and the photos produced from highly manipulated stills from these videos, find Safdie observing the gestures, and their implications in the bodies now of others. Working from a fixed viewpoint, and at distances where the images are abstracted and stylized from the very beginning, the gestural body which she so carefully constructed in Body/Stone/Water is now shown, if one looks carefully, to be inherent in the world at large.
Presenting us with moments of this extended seeing-into-the-world via the photos shown here, both the mystery and the familiar in bodily gesture--both the utterly human yet alien and unknown--are now fixed in a single image, space and scale serving as the ground in lieu of time and change as in the videos. Bodily gestures are crystalized, frozen in a play of light and mass. And so collectively these works not only explore the transformations and commonalities between human bodies, nature, and their mutual gestures, but the commonalities between artistic media, and the artistic gestures that enable distinct media the power to move us in unexpected ways.»Press release
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