SMOCA: Dance With Camera / by airi katsuta

I recently visited Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Arts to view the collaborative exhibition called Dance With Camera. Having a close relationship with my camera and my love for dancing in front of a mirror when no ones watching, I thought I'll be able to relate to this show. However, I felt like a fish out of water. As I walked into the exhibition, I hear tribal drum beats with the lights real low. There's a flat screen TV hanging on the wall and there is a Caucasian woman dancing like an animal. I watched the clip for a good 15 minutes but I had no idea what this was about. The title of this work was Adaptive Lines, 2007, by Flora Wiegmann. The dancer was moving out of her body by a freeway overpass. And even though it was by a freeway, the atmosphere felt very nature-y.  The dancer "adapted" and restructured to each of her colleagues' decision: to the soundtrack, the location, the costume, and direction. Tarantism,2007, by Joachim Koester was something that I thought was very interesting. First seeing this short film, I thought, why is everyone having a seizure? A group of people were moving frantically with no music or sound, as if they were possessed. After reading the descriptive, I learned that the artist had an interest in a condition found in Southern Italy that results from a spider bite from a tarantula. People who were bitten were to get compulsive seizures from the venom of the spiders and the only way for a cure was to dance it off. Koester's interest in this condition is tied to the notion of uncontrolled, unorganized movement. Very interesting, I must say.

Bruce Conner, Breakaway, 1966 was the one that I was attracted to the most in this exhibition. This film features Toni Basil's dancing to her music. I really liked the lyrics of the song, "I’m gonna break away from all the chains that bind, and everyday I’ll wear what I want and do what suits me fine". She is leaping freely, and then through out the film, she is completely naked. This resembled a music video and I felt like I understood it more than the other films shown in this exhibition.

This exhibition is showing until May 1. Go check it out.