New Zealand Embassy Berlin, Germany

Alicia Frankovich: Gestures, Splits and Annulations


Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin - Opening 16 June 2011, from 7 pm - gallery spaces - Kottbusser Straße 10.

Alicia Frankovich investigates the performativity of the body, which she presents in various states of restriction, yet always with the potential for self-release.

In her performances, sculptures and performance-based films, bodies – often the body of the artist herself – are put into states of tension with sculptural apparatuses, often tangled on the floor or suspended. As a former national-level gymnast, Frankovich is interested in the dichotomy of body and machine. In her performances and actions, which are often documented as moving images, she experimentally investigates movement in space and the relations between body and architecture. In many performances curators, gallery owners or people from the audience are actively involved and put into physically demanding situations in which they often have to ‘assert’ themselves, either over the artist herself or the restrictive structures she has set up within the space.

In Frankovich’s more recent works, there is a recurrent reference to dance. For example, in Berlin she developed the film Volution (2011), inspired by a boxing scene in Charlie Chaplin’s City Lights (1931), in which a boxing match on the street gradually metamorphoses into a dance-like sequence of movements.

Her exhibition Gestures, Splits and Annulations at the Künstlerhaus Bethanien is a constellation of kinetic sculptures and different performances to video and film that explore the sexual and material mechanics, politics and affects of performance itself. Included in the exhibition are such juxtapositions as The Missing Pair (2011), in which a protective soccer shin-pad jumps around as though having adopted the agency or movement of its corresponding body part, and The Arena (2010), set on the roof of a Southern Italian manor house, in which Frankovich performs La Danza delle Spade – a traditional dueling dance from the region – from memory after receiving an hour’s instruction from a professional.

Alicia Frankovich, born in New Zealand in 1980, is currently participating in the Künstlerhaus Bethanien International Studio Programme as the 2010/11 grantee of Creative New Zealand.

Exhibition: 17 June - 10 July 2011, Tue - Sun, 2 - 7 pm

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