FROM THE TEMPLE
From the Temple features all female contributors :: Paris-based visual artists Pinar Demirdag and Viola Renate (of Pinar&Viola) in collaboration with emerging New York-based choreographers Thea Bautista and Dorothea Garland. Known internationally for their indulgent visuals, Demirdag and Renate offer a destabilizing installation in which two new dance works are performed and viewed in-the-round. From the Temple is a project that seeks to accentuate the female artist’s distinct voice while considering and signaling where these two disciplines can go together. Six performances were held between June 1 – 10, 2018.
In a Neo-Surrealist pattern that absorbs the vertical and the horizontal, the dynamic and the static, Demirdag and Renate invite entry to an all-consuming space of aesthetic inquiry and play, with walls of glazed eyes, knowing grins and columns of pearls, set against a backdrop of oscillating palms. The installation is an enclosed space that the viewer must make the decision to enter, thus leaving the rational everyday for the transformative unconscious of the artists. Brought to life in a way suited to the spirit of our age, the pattern speaks to the idea of the ancient Roman sacred spring that promised to revitalize the arts and societies. It is about rebirth and renewal. It confronts the senses while signifying something high. It is wild and yet subject to eternal ways.
From the Temple suggests the transcendence of something high and making it visible, and here, the role of the dancer is center in these pursuits. In the limbs of the dancer, in a field of visual extravagance, instinctual life is laid bare. Historically in the visual arts, the dancer has been a metaphor for the rupture from a stifling old order, or a climate of alienation. The female dancer speaks to something pure and intuitive – a figure that represents nature and feeling merging, a fusing of the physical and the spiritual.
The new choreographic works complete the total. With no set orientation, like the pattern that encircles and takes in both viewer and dancer, the stage can be viewed from any angle. Each piece demonstrates its choreographer’s singular movement vocabulary. Bautista’s work opens the performance, imparting more immediacy; Garland’s will closes the work in a stylistic language more removed, more of another realm.