17 March 2015
Making the Power of Physique Visible
A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to meet and work with Sophie Dupont, an amazing young artist from Denmark who performed twice at the Frost Museum. During a brief time I met with her and talked about my drawings. I felt a strange connection with the purity of her comments. I suppose the wild cry of the feminine pay a visit that day. We talked about ridding the image of its cluttered state just as we had done the previous class while sitting in the dark immobile for 45 minutes.
Watching Sophie perform has been an enlightening experience as well as an empowering force to unleash the creative potential. The unexpected clarity of her presence and the incredible _power of will_ can only be defined as that of a relentless artist; indeed she exhibits the lightness of being of a true creator. Intensity and power of intention are undeniably the true virtues of an artist. Her artistic presentations showcase the alignment of the body, mind and spirit; while breaking through traditional rules and greatly enriching understanding of our presence and permanence. The minimalist substance of her performances highlights her indescribable spontaneous nobility. I was immediately drawn to merge into her connectedness.
On Tuesday February 17, 2015, Sophie performed at FIU Sculpture Park, “Obstructed Movement” (Performance in Seven Parts). At the exact moment when the clock struck the 4:00pm second, the performance began. It is a simple, straightforward repetitious ritual performed in front of each of 7 chosen sculptures in the park. The tailored outfit consist of physical constrains that obstruct the fluid movement of the body. Each time she poses in front of a sculpture one of the artifacts is left behind opening up the freedom of movement. With each disarmament choreographic repetition, the act contributes to the liberation of the basic mechanisms of body, mind and spirit.
“Marking Breath” was performed at the Frost Museum sunrise to sunset on Tuesday, February 24, 2015. This is a quiet poetic study of respiration that demands an outstanding degree of control, perseverance and fluidity of mind. Simply put, it is a lesson in how to battle with our inner demons, certainly a challenge both physique and soul.
I first visited the scene in the morning and was so surprised at this humble performance that I wanted to witness the occurrence for more time. I tried to emulate the stillness of mind by holding my video camera for at least a span of time that would capture the delicate movements of her hand making marks with each breath on a gold-plated copper plate.
Intrigued by Sophie’s determination and clarity of mind, I came back during the afternoon hours to witness the empty drama that had been going on for several hours now. One mark each take of breath for eleven hours; a test in endurance, perseverance, discipline and the power of the human mind. How much do I have to learn from this formidable artist!
One simple discrete sustained movement, only perceived by the veracity of the camera’s lens. Eyes, hand and mind intensely involved in the task at hand, unconscious of the world around. Why isn’t anybody looking? I felt outraged at the insensibility of the casual visitors who happened to walk by. Or is this part of the happening? This is something to reflect upon… I can only imagine the pain that the body is enduring, almost immobile _ and the tracking continues_ breath after breath from dawn to dusk. Amidst the frivolous casual intruder, the water fountain is the lone companion that persists with its playful sounds. Water splashing on the deep green pond, how many drops must have vanished into the thin fresh air? My mind can’t help to float away and I wonder, what is time? The answer lies on hundred thousand intakes and hundred thousand exhales, making marks on a golden plate.
Shadows begin casting elongated translucent forms, there is an instant of hesitation, an imperceptible moment of despair and a ray of light comes to say goodbye illuminating Sophie’s face with new determination, the work must be completed. The tracking continues; Gold expands its light amidst the frisky sounds of a day gone by. This is human capacity at its best. Watch, learn, intake, dare to catch a glimpse of the power of determination, the discipline one must endure and never, ever let go of the love for making art.
All the best,
I.B. Visual Arts