06
Nov
12

Day 311: I Build My Time, by Sally Smart

Sally Smart PEDAGODGICAL DANCE

Day 311: I Build My Time, by Sally Smart.

The recent exhibition of Sally Smart’s works at Fehily Contemporary, I Build My Time, features mixed media collages that resemble life-size human figures engaged in a feverish dance. Their bodies are twirling; arms are flailing; and their limbs are twisted in a rhythmic movement that reverberates from one work to the next.

An entire gallery wall was turned by Smart into a sketch pad or a story board where themes and ideas for the exhibition are being worked out. They feature studies and diagrams; samples of fabrics and other materials that later appear in the collages; as well as names, words, and phrases that collectively provide an invaluable insight to the finished works.

The inscriptions on the wall confirm the pivotal influence on Smart’s works of the Dada, avant-garde and early modernist art movements, and especially of its female exponents and theorists such as Hannah Hoch, Sophie Tauber, and Gertrude Stein. The presence of names of world-renowned prima ballerinas, Martha Graham among them, unlocks the mystery behind the source of the fluid theatrical gestures of Smart’s dancing figures.

A further dimension to the current body of work is provided by the accompanying video projection. It features a shadow ballet performed to the sonorous voice of a narrator who recounts a mythological story reminiscent of “The Origin of Love”, one of the central songs from Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Imbued by the context of the video, Smart’s life-size mixed media collage figures emerge in a different light as they now seem to employ the feverish power of dance to reassemble their fractured and contorted body parts into one complete and loving whole.

http://www.sallysmart.com/

http://www.fehilycontemporary.com.au

[© Eugene Barilo von Reisberg 2012; where applicable, images are courtesy of the artists and their galleries.]

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Eugene Barilo v. Reisberg

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