MOVED BODIES. CHOREOGRAPHIES OF MODERNITY
The first half of the 20th century was the period of revolutionary ferment, from which a new man - that of the modernism era – was emerging. Women pioneering in modernist dance, e.g., Loïe Fuller or Isadora Duncan, broke with the rigid constraints of classical ballet forms and introduced freedom of expression into dance. In the early 20th century, the interest in body in motion translated into researching the its anatomical determinants and experimentation. A question was posed about the possibility to better rationalise human movements, so that the effort put into a given activity would be commensurate with its effects. Simultaneously, the traditional cultural and social patterns, in which the female body was squeezed at the beginning of the 20th century, were rejected. On the one hand, this resulted in an emancipated body, serving as a tool for expressing social attitudes and rebellion; on the other hand, in an exploited body, whose fully rationalised movement translated into physical work, which was meant to result in maximized profits.
The objective of the exhibition is to confront the sculptures by Katarzyna Kobro with choreographic and dance practices of the first half of the 20th century, building up the context for Kobro’s artistic practice. Similarly to female modernist dancers and choreographers, in her theoretical works Kobro was asking questions on the nature of movement and its spatial relations. Working with the sculpture matter, she undertook the theme of rationalisation and functionalisation of movement in daily life.
The key narrative of the exhibition is meant to give the viewers - via a number of archive films and photographs - an insight into dance and choreography experiments. Yet, the exposition is not only of archive nature: its layout was arranged in cooperation with an opera and dramatic theatre stage designer, Karolina Fandrejewska. Instead of architecture, she proposes the scenography creatively appropriated from the archive material meant to serve as an inspiration for performative activities by artists, such as Tomasz Bazan, Marysia Zimpel, Noa Eshkol Chamber Dance Group, Noa Shadur.
Within the exhibition’s framework the conference entitled "How does the body think? Corporeal and movement based practices of modernism" will be organised at ms2 (Ogrodowa 19) on 3rd and 4th of December 2016 in cooperation with the Department of Theatre and Drama of the Faculty of Philology of the University of Łódź; it is curated by Professor Małgorzata Leyko and Katarzyna Słoboda. A book that will sum up the conference and the exhibition is planned to be published in 2017.
Artists: Akarova, Tomasz Bazan, Busby Berkeley, Fred Boissonnas, Giannina Censi, Chamber Dance Group, Rosalia Chladek, Émil-Jaques Dalcroze, Sonia Delaunay, Jane Dudley, Isadora Duncan, Noa Eshkol, Karolina Fandrejewska, Loïe Fuller, Martha Graham, Kurt Jooss, Katarzyna Kobro, Zygmunt Krauze, Rudolf Laban, Wsiewołod Meyerhold, The New Dance Group, Gret Palucca, Leni Riefenstahl, Józef Robakowski, Valentine de Saint-Point, Oskar Schlemmer, Edith Segal, Noa Shadur, Vera Skoronel, Władysław Strzemiński, Sophie Taeuber-Arp, Helen Tamiris, Jean Weidt, Mary Wigman, Maria Zimpel.
Curator: Katarzyna Słoboda
Scenographer: Karolina Fandrejewska
Coordinator: Monika Wesołowska
Cooperation: Katarzyna Mróz