French choreographer, dancer and performance artist Xavier Le Roy has been working in Sydney to develop and exhibit a bold new performance piece. Presented by two of Sydney’s most impressive arts organisations in collaboration for the first time – the exhibition is Kaldor Public Art Projects’ 31st project (following Marina Abramovic: In Residence earlier this year), and will appear within the cavernous halls of Carriageworks this weekend.
Director of Kaldor Public Arts Projects, John Kaldor says, “Xavier Le Roy has been the one of the first artists to bring choreography and dance in to the gallery space.” The project, which includes a performance of Le Roy’s 1998 solo piece Self Unfinished – a back-bending illusion and moving feat of the yogic ‘wheel pose’ – will conclude with the performance of a new work, Temporary Title.
To create the new piece, Le Roy collaborated with Hong Kong and Singapore based choreographer Scarlet Yu, as well as 18 Australian performers from Melbourne and Sydney. Le Roy also held open rehearsals, encouraging audience participation in the shaping of the final work, and opening up a view into his own creative process.
The finished work involves no props and no costumes – performers are entirely naked for the duration of the piece. While viewers are instantly rendered silent, the uncomfortable or sharply awkward elements of nudity have somehow been removed. The piece however, is intended to challenge our perception of the human form, recognisable and strange at the same time. Held within a closed room at Carriageworks, Le Roy’s performers circle on all fours, fists closed. Their movements are distinctly feline, making them appear less human, almost without gender.
For Le Roy, nudity speaks more about neutrality, or harmony than shock or spectacle. “For a group performance, or group dance performance the artists will often wear the same clothes, or similar items of clothing as their costume. Nakedness can be the best costume to create this sense of sameness.”
Temporary Title will be performed at Carriageworks from November 20 – 22.
20 November 3 – 9pm
21 November 12 – 6pm
22 November 12 – 6pm