This week’s featured artist is Nina Davies, a final year 4D Fine Art student whose incredibly beautiful video work we discovered during the Fine Art Open Studios at Central Saint Martins. We caught up with the artist discussing her latest video ‘Transition as Movement’, appropriation and redefining movement.
Could you please talk a bit about your wider practice and this video in relation to it?
My practice is generally concerned with the difficulties of notating body movement and the historical repercussions of it. From this, I began creating a movement based language where I use the musical notation system and basically plug in body movements to the notes: upper body movements=treble clef notes, lower body movements=bass clef note. ‘Transition as Movement’ in particular was inspired by a documentary I watched about Harry Partch, and his ideas that western musical notation was a conspiracy and that there were many more tones in between the notes used in musical notation. My previous work has been about comparing notating movement to notating music, so this was a bit of a jump but also makes sense within my wider practice.
What is the significance of appropriation in the work?
The purpose of using appropriated footage was to remove myself from the choreography aspect of the work. I was removing the main movements in the choreography to just observe what happens in the ‘in between’ moments of movement. If I had choreographed the movements myself I would have always kept the final edit in mind, tarnishing the experiment, and defeating the purpose of the work.
Why did you choose this footage and that particular style of dance?
I wanted to steer clear of using footage of traditional forms of dance such as ballet, so I used films that represent three different aspects of contemporary dance. One is dance as a film work, the second is a very minimal solo where it’s also difficult to find the “in between moments” as the movements are very small and articulate, and the third is a documentation of a live performance.
Words by Daniel Challis