Yael Davids: Learning to Imitate and The Hand is Quicker Than The Eye
Date: 29 April - 03 May 2010
Location: Picture This Studio, Bristol, UK
Synopsis:Picture This is pleased to present two works by Yael Davids; The performance Learning to Imitate and the film The Hand is Quicker Than The Eye (DVD, 2008).
Special Bank Holiday opening hours:
Opening: Friday 30 April 6.00pm - 8.00pm
Exhibition Open: Saturday - Monday 12 - 5.30pm
Performances: Sunday & Monday 02 & 03 May at 1 pm
Learning to Imitate is an ongoing performance lecture that takes different forms according to the specifics of a given cultural and architectural situation. Responding to the acoustic context of Picture This, Yael Davids is interested in testing the possibility of constructing a three dimensional score using white acoustic plates, a group of participants, a syntax of props that move and relate to the position of the audience and to the position and voice of the artist or speakers. Extending out of this mis en scène Davids seeks to address how a group of people can carry the singularity of a voice through moving into constellations in space, and how different bodies can be embodied by one voice and vice versa. The white constructions will transform the voice into language by forming sound boxes - producing a moving spatial abstraction out of language. For Davids Learning to Imitate asks the questions: How to create a three dimensional score? What is the relationship between the written and spoken word? What is the relationship between the page and the body? The pen and the mouth? Thinking and pronouncing?
The Hand is Quicker Than The Eye (2008) is a video project made with inmates at Mechelen City Prison. The hand is quicker than the eye is one of the greatest myths in magic. The project started with the idea of the city and its margins - Davids looked at the parallels between the institutions of the circus and the prison as both have been traditionally pushed to the periphery of the city. However, while the function and architecture of the prison is designed to enclose and holds its inhabitants, the circus is conceived as a space of fantasy and imaginative escape.
As with Learning to Imitate, The Hand is Quicker Than The Eye deals with language. The prisoners learn the skills of magic as a way to express themselves, the film acts as the artist's text, trying to give them a voice and to portray their struggle with this new vocabulary.
Supported by the Mondriaan Foundation and BKVB (The Netherlands Foundation for Visual Arts, Design and Architecture).
Learning to Imitate was commissioned by If I Can’t Dance, I Don’t Want To Be Part of Your Revolution.
The Hand is Quicker Than The Eye was commissioned by Grant Watson/ the Museum of Contemporary Art Antwerp (M HKA).
Learning to Imitate in Absentia is part two of an investigation that follows on from the first iteration Learning to Imitate.