Words & Photos by Gan Uyeda & Jessica Arce
On Friday and Saturday night, the Textile Museum hosted two nights of performance arts, films, and fashion. Friday night’s event included Peggy Noland, film screenings, and the performance threeASFOUR. Noland’s performance opened the event, and mingling and wine followed. threeASFOUR premiered as the feature of the night.
Five girls, dressed in beiges, blacks, and light gray/blues took turns in altering the garment worn by the model in front in ordered to stress the importance and time invested in the construction and deconstruction of fashion and art. The mood was eerie, with high-pitched, blaring strings invading the speakers, and a light set up that cast the stage in sharp shadows. The fashion collective of threeASFOUR included designers from Lebanon, Israel, and Tajikistan. During the discussion portion of the night, each designer, as well as Peggy Noland, spoke about their pieces, their influences, how their roots have affected their art, and took questions from the audience.
The second night featured Copenhagen-based duo Henrik Vibskov & Andreas Emenius executing a performance piece entitled Circular Series, Section 4. Not surprisingly, the work is their fourth in a cycle in a work called the Circular Series, a collection of works that employs installation, performance, and the filmic and photographic documentation of the two to explore ideas of ritual and tradition, human constructions, and the conflicting forces of social cohesion and isolation.
Vibskov and Emenius took their grassy stage amid a twinkling, incessantly droning sound just as the sun set. They resembled a pair of space explorers from the distant future, clad in all white body suits, faces covered, and moving with a slow but deliberate cadence. They flanked a large, immaculately crafted white geometric cube, in front of which rested a small wooden ball upon a white shrine-like shelf. The piece unfolded over the course of an hour, first with an attention to manipulating the sounds booming across the garden performance space, then to a deliberate, ritualistic process of wrapping the wooden orb in fabric, suspending it in the center of the cube, and slowly constructing a wide, suspended, circular disk around the ball.
The pair worked in perfect tandem, complementing each other’s actions and working collaboratively in this ceremonial wrapping. The action seemed to flicker between dimensions – the unitary point of the wooden ball enclosed within the planar disk, itself suspended within the three dimensional geometry of the cube. The monotonous, repetitive action fused with the whirling drone sounds, giving a sense of inevitable process. Mel Bochner’s and Sol LeWitt’s works functioned along the same lines: establishing a set of internal rules and then setting the action into motion, watching it unfold mindlessly towards completion. Vibskov and Emenius carried out their movements with pure physicality, without apparent active cognition, questioning while also paying homage to religious ceremony. With the moon rising above them, the pair exited the garden, leaving behind a fading whirl of noise and a precious, concealed wooden ball to receive their applause.