dirt chronicles: part 5

February 3, 2011

eiko & koma are a japanese duo that have been choreographing and performing together since the 1970s, pushing the limits of movement, dance, and performance. this past november, the pair debuted a month-long installation of their most recent endeavor, naked, as part of a residency at the walker art center in minneapolis and a three-year multi-city retrospective. their work often features “glacier-like” and “inhuman” movement and slowness, hand-made sets or costumes, and nudity, exploring themes of space and time with their audience.

for naked, eiko and koma built a hut of holey canvas, the ground covered in two tons of dirt, feathers, straw, dead leaves and twigs. the two lay naked amidst the organic matter, writhing with steady, meditative, almost unnoticeable motions. visitors were encouraged to enter the small space and sit for as long as they wished. when watching the video of the piece, you must first resign yourself to the slowness, the nature of it all. summoning imagery of birth, death and vulnerability, the japanese concept of wabi-sabi somes to mind- of being content and finding beauty in the fact that everything is in a state of decay, even when it is first born. naked, commissioned by the walker, is a continuation of breath, a 1998 “living installation” at the whitney, which was a similar environment but only incorporated one body at a time. like many of their previous works, naked succeeds in transporting the audience to a different space where time is so long it barely exists and life is just another gorgeous flash in nature’s cycle.

images by anna lee campbell via mnartists

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