unfold into, 2016
with and by Amelie Gaulier Brody, Rain Saukas, and Alexis Steeves
sound: Joshua Dumas
material consultant: Kerry Downey
Dages Juvelier Keates will perform in tandem with a sculpture by Elizabeth Tubergen, between it and a sound environment by Helene Kazan. The dance will nominally take place in the gallery, but the audience is invited to view it from the sidewalk of 5th Avenue. Keates’ work will attend to the interstice, to space between the Cities.
i will incorporate your symptoms
i will put them into my body
i will contain you although i cannot hope to contain myself
one pours and one watches
one speaks and one listens
what is the amplitude of the voice?
how far does the sound travel
a terrain of tenderness
the real issue is the split that reifies the boundaries
To listen to the soundscape, please bring a device and headphones. Sound can be accessed by signing in as a New School Guest.
As a dancer, you are one body, trained and clearly individual. What kind of movement allows you to explore the interstices between your body and that of others? To explore the boundary?
Every body is a series of open-ended questions—already a third space, already queering nature/culture, self/other. Without conquest, without seduction, without necessitating harmony, what might happen when we uncontrol our sociability, unhold our sense of boundedness? A big aspect of concert dance training is learning how to attune oneself to the group, to dance in unison. The practice that I am currently involved in with Alexis, Rain, and Amelie is one of being alone together. This work together emphasizes individuality; each dancer is seeking their own pleasure, opening to the pleasure in looking and being looked at, of giving and receiving weight. We are not institutions, we are not museums, we are not abstractions, we are not sites of occupation or projects of improvement. Our dancing bodies are a symphony of polyglot, polyrhythmic conversations.
You are reading Olivia Lang's book, Lonely City, which is about the kind of perception possible in a state of chronic social alienation. How do you see the impact of this on your process for this performance? What do you draw from it?
When Elizabeth described her sculptural vision, I kept thinking about animating that fecund gap between the cool stark angularity of metal and glass-- a space that is hypervisible but impenetrable. Laing’s fertile ruminations on the explosive force of her subject’s practices inspired my decision to use this platform to loiter, non-productively, with what can happen in the margins. A sliver of space between a steel sheet and a pane of glass- between a rock and a hard place.
In the dusk of fantasies of pharmacological redemption, many are turning toward plants for healing - weeds hold our medicine. Weeds that grow between cracks in the sidewalk have the bitterness, the willfulness, and the generosity that we also need to survive in between these monolithic squares. I am interested in the possibilities of these weed dances.
Laing writes about the “perpetual, harrowing, non-consensual beauty pageant of femininity.” All of my work seeks to decolonize my body, to find ways of living beyond the punishment and policing of the gender binary. In training for concert dance, I learned to force myself to perform a specific kind of silent, hyperflexible, “resilience”-- to objectify my body and its possibilities for movement. The question for me now is how to move from a place of desire and pleasure while participating in the long and torrid violence of representation.
As a dance artist and teacher, Dages Juvelier Keates uses feminist and queer methods to research embodiment and alterity. Her work seeks to decolonize the body as a re/productive site of heteronormativity, rendering it undomesticated, unfinished. Deeply influenced by psychoanalytic theories, she explores the body as an accretion of unanswered questions, an ephemeral archive of inter- and intra-personal memories, gestures, and other bio-imaginative acts. She seeks to trouble binaries while unpacking gender as a node of accumulation. Keates is interested in confronting internalized and explicit patriarchal scopophilia through the use of live performance and its potential to reimagine power, pleasure, desire, and drive. Her projects have recently been presented by Art Helix, Dixon Place, and Triskelion Arts. Recent residencies and awards include 3LD, chashama, Marble House Project, The Watermill Center, and The Stable. Dages has a B.A from Bard College and MA from NYU.