Polly's Eiko & Koma Preview

June 25, 2011

On Friday I travelled down to Chicago with David Ravel of Alverno Presents (our partner in presenting Eiko & Koma here at Lynden on July 23 to see Eiko & Koma performing in the gallery at the MCA as part of their exhibition there, "Time is Not Even, Space is Not Empty."

The two dancers perform within an installation that they have designed for the entire time the gallery is open on a given day. On Friday, they lay on what looks like a heap of detritus--rocks, feathers, sand--not much larger than a large bed, their bodies covered with white paint and stray marks, and ebbed and flowed for five hours. The space is silent, except for the occasional video soundtrack drifting in from another gallery and a sound like sandpaper as visitors walk in and out of the small room. The lighting changes, sometimes warming one body and cooling the other, occasionally evoking a sunrise as the paper walls of the installation are illuminated. Eiko & Koma's slow folding and unfolding, reaching out and turning away, brings to mind Samuel Beckett, the activities of larvae; but more importantly it allows one to focus intensely on the form of the human body--these two human bodies--as they move very, very slowly, dissolving and recomposing in the changing light. Time falls away in the presence of their deliberate, concentrated movements; thoughts roam (death? the end of humankind? will Eiko's foot blindly find its way to Koma's thigh, and will that signify hope, redemption?); vision blurs in this hallucinatory space.

Eiko & Koma will be performing periodically during the run of their MCA exhibition, and I urge you to go and see them, and to see the exhibition itself, which includes lots of documentary material, video, costumes and other objects from their long performing career. Seeing them in the gallery will be very different from seeing them at Lynden, but it will provide context and you will not soon forget it. And if you can't make it to our performance at Lynden, try to get to Chicago during one of their performance visits--they are doing several projects (the complete performance schedule is at the link above).

We have a copy of the catalogue produced by the Walker Art Center available in our porch reading room area, too.

Hope to see you on July 23!


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