Lilian Steiner: Flesh and Diamonds. Gertrude Contemporary

Widely regarded and respected as one of the most innovative dancers and choreographers of her generation, Lilian Steiner has increasingly incorporated the language and influence of contemporary visual arts into her practice. Flesh and Diamonds expands her methodology of working and consolidates its embrace of the potential beyond performance spaces. As a discipline, dancers are frequently led by choreographic instruction, often refined in collaboration and almost invariably performed in close proximity. As a form of transferred embodiment, dancers readily engage and inhabit the movement pathways and musical dynamics from the bodies and capabilities of dancers before them.

For this first durational gallery project by Steiner, this acknowledgement of embodied transference is brought into focus as a form of homage. Manifesting as a series of 3D printed objects, developed through an ongoing collaboration with designer and 3D animator, Patrick Hamilton, the sculptural forms offer distilled yet abstracted portraits of some of the many collaborators and influences that inform her practice and shape her work. The sculptural forms take their shape from brief dance movements of her peers, enacted by Steiner, with the performative coordinates recorded and their data translated into the three-dimensional forms. Through this act of movement-capture, the works carry a sense of Steiner, her peers, and the inter-weavings of their working processes and methodologies. In other works, images of the bodies of a selection of dancers are depicted upon fabrics, representing their physicality in a manner more static, more corporeally fixed, than their live performances elaborate. Collectively, Flesh and Diamonds pays tribute to the nature of dancerly transmission and a wider community of dancers who frequently collaborate in one another’s works, who often embody the movements of each other, and whose movements logics offer a template for each further iteration of a work.

Gertrude Contemporary

21-31 High St, Preston VIC 3072, Australia

Lisbeth Thalberg
Lisbeth Thalberg
Journalist and artist (photographer). Editor of the art section at MCM.
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