Micro-Event n°32 /Dancing Alone, to Gillian Wearing

Associated events for the exhibition déjà, Espace Commines, Paris, 2006; Yokohama France vidéo collection, organized by the Yokohama Institut Franco-Japonais, Red Brick Ware House Number 1, Yokohama, Japan, 2008; Tranches de Quai #12, École supérieure d’art de Mulhouse, Mulhouse, France, 2010

Here, I explore the relationship between art, the individual, and public space. To the rhythm of my own inner music, I dance among the public – Dancing Alone, to Gillian Wearing (25 minutes).
The day of the opening of the exhibition déjà at Espace Commines in Paris, I am in the middle of the exhibition space that is plunged into darkness, except for an intense light coming from the ceiling and focused on me. The public is on the mezzanine, at a distance. The performance lasts about twenty minutes. At first I stay still and music (Nirvana*) fills the room. Then it stops and I stat to dance, to the rhythm of my own interior music.

For Tranches de Quai #12, at the École supérieure d’art de Mulhouse, I am on a podium in the middle of the room and the audience is divided around me. Following the same procedure as at Espace Commines in Paris, I dance alone for five minutes. Then someone in the audience began to dance to their own rhythm. Then a second, and a third. Soon, all the room is moving in total silence. Dancing in the same place, each person enclosed in their own world, to the rhythm of their music. Between inner and collective action, this performance brings out the intimate in a public space. Reactivating the first version of Dancing Alone, here the action of “dancing alone” does not concern just me, but spreads through the space like a virus.

The performance refers to Dancing Peckham (1994) by Gilliam Wearing, a 25-minute video where we see her dancing in a shopping center.

* Nirvana was an American grunge band founded by Kurt Cobain (lead singer and guitarist) and Krist Novoselic (bassist) at Aberdeen in Washington state in 1987