In association with Sydney Festival 2019, and the second of Cement Fondu’s annual pairing of early career Australian artists with esteemed international artists, this exhibition presents an ambitious new video installation by choreographer, dancer and artist Amrita Hepi, alongside video works by US artist Adrian Piper, Winner of the Golden Lion award for Best Artist in Venice Biennale, 2015.
With this pairing, the exhibition reflects a continuing relationship between Black America & Indigenous Australia and explores how the representation and perpetuation of culture, knowledge and tradition can be transferred through the body in forms of social movement, dance and music.
Co–commissioned by Cement Fondu and The Lock-Up, Amrita Hepi’s video installation The Pace (2018) proposes 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.
Activating the body through dance, movement and music as an artistic tool to educate and bridge cultural, social and racial divides is what connects Amrita Hepi with paired exhibiting US artist Adrian Piper, now in her 70s and based in Berlin. Presented here, Piper’s three dance-videos span the 1980s to 2000s, providing important art historical context to Hepi’s interdisciplinary practice - in a generational ‘showing of the ropes’.
A deeply influential artist, Piper brought gender and race into the white-male dominated field of Conceptual art in the 60s and 70s and was a pioneer in “audience-interactive performance”, as she describes it. Her videos in this exhibition are presented like silent discos with wireless audio headphones to encourage viewers to join in and bring Piper’s ground-breaking audience participation back into play.
Presented with thanks to Secret Sounds Solutions and Audio Visual Events
Image: Amrita Hepi, The Pace, 2018, 3-channel dance-video installation, co-commissioned by Cement Fondu and The Lock-Up; Adrian Piper, Please, God, 1991. Video. DVD. 01:01:00. Detail: video still at 00:02:27. Collection of the Adrian Piper Research Archive Foundation Berlin. © Adrian Piper Research Archive Foundation Berlin.