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25 Songs On 25 Lines Of Words On Art Statement For Seven Voices And Dance

Edward Scheer, preview


Lucy Guerin in 25 Songs on 25 Lines of Words and Art Statement for Seven Voices and Dance Lucy Guerin in 25 Songs on 25 Lines of Words and Art Statement for Seven Voices and Dance
Described by Felber as “a music/theatrical installation for seven voices” this work explores the liminal zones at the edges of sculpture, painting, dance, sound art through a playful reinscription of Ad Reinhardt’s 25 Lines Of Words On Art: Statement of 1958 into a late 20th century hybrid aesthetic combining retro fit design invoking both earlier avant gardes and contemporary cutting edge graphics. The audience enters a Futurist mise en scene of huge swinging steel rods with light bulbs at the end of them and 7 steel tubes suspended from the ceiling each broadcasting one of the voices from Elliott Gyger’s composition. But one of the most effective elements is the video projection of Lucy Guerin’s 3 movement pieces which haunt the space silently, interrogating the audience from the floor beneath their feet.

The opening of the event featured a live performance from Guerin, one of Australia’s most sought after dancers, whose choreography also echoed elements of the Reinhardt text (#16 verticality and horizontality, rectilinearity, parallelism, stasis). The space (not designed for live arts) was absolutely packed which meant that for most of the performance parts of the audience were unsighted. This resulted in a strange theatre of frustration where members of the audience shrugged their shoulders, huffed and puffed, rolled their eyes, unconsciously entering the piece as they unexpectedly reacquired their bodies in the absence of a line of sight. Reinhardt would have loved it…#24 the completest control for the purest spontaneity.

Though all the disparate elements of the work arise from a reading of the Reinhardt text, no attempt has been made to force them into a hokey mimetic relationship. They simply accompany each other and gaze at each other disinterestedly, allowing room for an audience to move, at least in an intellectual sense…The piece is accompanied by a beautifully finished book which features interviews with the artists and reproductions of Felber’s images, stills from Guerin’s dances and the musical scores for the 25 songs with a CD. Credit Suisse (among others) sponsored this piece and you can see where the money went! Thankfully it has been put to good use.


25 Songs On 25 Lines Of Words On Art Statement For Seven Voices And Dance, artist Joe Felber, composer Elliott Gyger, dancer/choreographer Lucy Guerin, curator Victoria Lynn, AGNSW, March 28 - May 2. The work will tour other galleries throughout 1999 and 2000.

RealTime issue #31 June-July 1999 pg. 40

© Edward Scheer; for permission to reproduce apply to realtime@realtimearts.net

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