Last night I attended a the Works and Process series at the Guggenheim. I had never been to one of these performances, but have known about them for a while. The program featured three different choreographers embodied the theme “Voices of the Americas”. What I appreciated most about this program, was that each piece was followed by a moderated Q&A with the artist. Regardless of the medium, looking into an artist’s process is always informative, especially when I am currently developing and working through a process of my own.
The one piece that really struck me was a collaboration between choreographer Jonah Bokaer and multimedia artist Anthony Goicolea. There was a unique marriage between the movement and the design of the piece (which included the costumes, sets, and overall aesthetic) all which embodied a subdued, monotone feel to it. There was a sense of ritual as four male dancers, who looked almost like identical quadruplets, led each other through a forest of gold leaf trees. In the center of the stage was a gold platform, in which the dancers precariously balanced on, testing their limits on an unsteady surface.
I was previously familiar with a lot of Bokaer’s work, as he is very interested in the merging of new media and performance. However, after seeing the performance, I looked into the visual work of Goicolea. I was surprised to see that his work grapples with themes similar to the ones that I have been exploring in my thesis prototyping, childhood, family genealogy, reflection. In most of his work, Goicolea dresses up like a young boy, and creates photographed scenarios reenacting moments of childhood. The photographs usually contain multiple versions of himself, creating an illusion that defies space and time. How is it that one can exist in many spaces at once? Perhaps they represent the different facets of the self, all experiencing something different from the same situation.
None the less, both the performance and the work I researched later were thought provoking and inspiring. I have made myself a promise to see art at LEAST once a week from here on out.