Building upon the rich history of weaving and skipping, a newly commissioned video installation by award-winning artist, dancer and choreographer Amrita Hepi explores cultural resilience and continuity through dance, gesture, video and performance.
Featuring hand-woven ropes and showcasing original choreography, Hepi’s installation and accompanying live performance and workshop look at the delicate and harsh dualities that exist within personal dance narratives and the objects that inform them.
Audiences are invited into a deeply affecting and visceral engagement with Blak and Pacific experience as Hepi evokes how rhythm, rhyme and the body carry self-expression and cultural celebration as well as political and social turbulence.
Presented alongside Hepi’s works is a selection of videos by American conceptual artist and philosopher Adrian Piper, whose influential practice has over decades revisited how art and dance can together bridge cultural, social and racial divides.
Adrian Piper,who won the Venice Biennale Golden Lion for Best Artist in 2015, presents works that span the 80s, 90s and 00s, exploring the role of the body and music in representations of cultural identity and leading generations of artists to place audience participation at the centre of their work.
The pairing of Hepi and Piper acknowledges how historically significant art practices and critiques challenged the status quo and expanded the edges of artforms, paving the way for today’s most experimental and innovative arts practitioners.
Also exhibiting in Cement Fondu's Project Space is a presentation of new and existing works by the Yirran Miigaydhu Weavers, an Aboriginal Women’s weaving program initiated by Campbelltown Arts Centre, and led by Aunty Phyllis Stewart, for local Aboriginal women to learn the tradition of weaving.
Created collaboratively, the Project Space exhibition explores the significance of the circle to Aboriginal culture. Through the process of coil making, in which each stitch builds upcoming segments, the work symbolises the generational passing of culture and traditional knowledge.
IN CONVERSATION | AMRITA HEPI WITH PROF. LARISSA BEHRENDT
Sat 12 January, 11am
Join The Ropes artist Amrita Hepi and Professor Larissa Behrendt as they discuss Hepi's newly commissioned video installation The Pace.
This 3-channel video work utilises sampling to propose skipping as a new choreographic modality and draws powerful connections between the skilful command of the body and rope with other social and cultural practices, particularly the Indigenous art of weaving.
Larissa Behrendt is a Distinguished Professor at the University of Technology Sydney and the Director of Research and Academic Programs at Jumbunna Institute of Indigenous Education and Research. An expert in the field of moving image, Behrendt wrote and directed the feature films, After the Apology and Innocence Betrayed and has written and produced several short films. She won the 2018 Australian Directors Guild Award for Best Direction in a Feature Documentary.
WORKSHOP | CHOREOGRAPHY AND THE OBJECT
Sat 12 January, 2pm
You're invited to RSVP to this FREE workshop by The Ropes artist Amrita Hepi, exploring Choreography and the Object.
This is a rare opportunity to get up close with artist, dancer and choreographer, Amrita Hepi, who has received acclaim for her choreographic work, including Winning the Keir Foundation Audience Choice Award in 2018.
This workshop is inspired by her new dance-video installation The Pace(2018), which proposes skipping as a new choreographic modality. In The Pace, Hepi interweaves found footage with new choreography, centering around an interchanging material object - the rope, the chain, the weaver’s thread, the braided hair, the spider’s deadly silk.
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