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November 16, 2023 • 9:00 am - 6:00 pmFree
In Performing Remains, Rebecca Schneider describes the ways in which media studies, “conflates the invention of the still with the invention of the camera, too often forgetting the long history of precedent living stills.” The Movement-Image likewise sees across disciplinary divides to a long history of movement. The six artists presented in the exhibition understand the living body as a force of continuous invention.
The Movement-Image is supported through the John Sacret Young ’69 Lecture Series fund.
Featured Artists & Works
The exhibition features video works and installations by artists Amy Beecher, Xavier Cha, Sahra Motalebi, Maho Ogawa, Will Rawls and Leila Weefur:
Will Rawls, regular degular
regular degular is a cinematic response to the disparate architectural, economic and historical tensions that surface in St. Louis, Missouri. These conflicts are embodied along the historic Jefferson Avenue and exist because of, and are constantly reproduced by, an anti-Black formation of American cities that raze or renew neighborhoods based on their racial and economic make-up. Thus, multiple understandings of time and narrative share geographic space but are not in active conversation. This temporal and architectural non-communication becomes an opportunity to invent a narrative structure that connects these dynamics. regular degular is a short stop-motion film that seeks to tell a new story of a place that respectfully and playfully acknowledges these local conditions. Run time: 19:41 min.
Amy Beecher, Holding Lead
Amy Beecher’s seven-minute single shot film Holding Lead is part of a larger series of work, Beautiful, Beautiful, Beautiful, Rose! that includes, poetry, sound, image, and installation. Work in this series appropriates and then isolates moments from the television series The Bachelor, using them as formal building blocks to meditate on the over-determined nature of signifiers, especially those linked to feelings of love and affection. Echoing the themes of admiration in the original show, each work in the series is an homage to a different artist. Here Beecher responds to Richard Serra’s three-minute film Hand Lead Fulcrum, replacing the weighty block of lead in Serra’s muscular grip with a delicately perched flower. Run time: 7:28 min.
Leila Weefur, Blackberry Pastorale: Symphony No. 1
Blackberry Pastorale: Symphony No. 1 deconstructs the Black Femme figure and the colloquial Black phrase “The blacker the berry, the sweeter the juice.” The video constructs a cinematic narrative through the landscape of the blackberry fruit, positing the Blackberry as a figure with a distinct racialized function. Referencing Yusef Komunyakaa’s 1992 poem “Blackberries” and Wallace Thurman’s 1929 novel The Blacker the Berry, the installation explores the kindred history of Blackberries with Black bodies and the contradictions of beauty, shame, admiration, and contempt. The sound component, Fantasie Negre, is a composition by Florence Beatrice Price, the first Black woman to be recognized as a symphonic composer. This layered orchestral piano provides the video with a texture, rich with an Antebellum-like history and a queasy contemplation to match the choreographed destruction of the Blackberry fruit. Run time: 18:53 min.
Maho Ogawa, Choreographic Score Mural
Choreographic Score Mural is an abstract map of human bodies, a mural version of Maho Ogawa’s online movement database, Minimum Movement Catalog. Each line in the mural expresses a visual movement score from the Minimum Movement Catalog sections “Curving” or “Bending,” inventories of bodily gestures. Viewers can embody the Bending or Curving movements by placing their body along these lines. The mural is open to be activated by viewers as a communication tool for movement language.
Sahra Motalebi, Inspiration
Inspiration explores historical meanings of “imagination,” its connection to metaphor-making, and to the breath. The vocal dialogue, heard from small speakers inserted in the sculpture, includes a description of the object and its invisible built structures and those of the stage-set itself. The silver ductwork taken from building materials is recontextualized; it gives one the sense of a technological construction, and referencing the mediation of breath, voice, and dialogue by the logics of performance and a disembodied acousmatic presence.
Xavier Cha, Untitled (caretaker)
Untitled (caretaker) is a live-streamed video performance by Xavier Cha where a performer, who wears a GoPro chest harness, can be seen moving alone in a rehearsal space. The audience experiences a disorienting view of limbs moving through a remote studio space. The video captures only glimpses of their reflection in the mirror, obscuring access to the full view of the performer’s body. Fragments of a soundtrack can be heard playing simultaneously from four corners of the studio as the performer nears.
View the Exhibition
The Movement-Image exhibition is free and open to the public.
On view from October 16 – November 21, 2023, with performances scheduled throughout. Hagan Gallery hours: Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Get directions to the Hagan Gallery, located on the first floor at 185 Nassau St. on the Princeton University campus.
The Hagan Gallery is an accessible venue. Visit our Venues & Studios section for access details for each of our individual locations. Guests in need of access accommodations are invited to contact the Lewis Center at least one week in advance at LewisCenter@princeton.edu.