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Asymptote (video art version) in Amsterdam Alternative newspaper - Review On embodiment and agency

What is the relation between the body and the space that it occupies? The space of action, and the space of the realisation of the self. The fixed and heavily regulated space of the city, and the mutable space of interpersonal communication and desire. This idea formulated in my mind during the (official and unofficial) Amsterdam Dance Event 2016, and became distilled with 4Bid Gallery’s latest Highs and Lows #19 (27/10/2016). One of OT301’s public spaces, 4Bid Gallery’s programme is becoming more eclectic. It showcases high quality work in a versatile space with good technical support; and it is also a critically engaged space that places emphasis on dialogue, exploration and feedback.

Kevin Trappeniers’ film zooms into two naked bodies lying across an undefined floor. Pressed together at shoulder hight and hiding their heads, their outlines create each other’s reflection. It is as if we enter a kaleidoscope and see a fractal piece. Could it be that these bodies fuse and mirror each other as much as they mirror us? Cone explores the visuality of movement and the sculptural qualities of film. The camera traces the movement of a naked and carefully staged body against the lights and shadows of its reflection; a body that shifts between substance and immateriality. We are immersed in this image projected on a wide screen in a dark room, and the beat of the soundtrack physically resonates in our own body.

Yet there is an alienating feeling that what we witness is the body of the other: an other, already abstracted body set against and trapped behind the camera lens. A faceless body oscillating between the three-dimensionality of the corporeal and its disembodied image, structured by the camera frame and placed under the purview of the spectator.

The body carries an image of ourselves as much as it carries the image of another. This does not only refer to seeing what we are, but also to realising the ideas that the body embodies, the space it occupies and the communication it actualises. Would, then, the collapse of the frame entail the collapse of the body and of the self?



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