Allora & Calzadilla
Compass, 2009, a sculptural intervention that explores the threshold between sound, performance, drawing and sculpture.
Reducing the gallery's exhibition space to half its normal height, a new horizontal level is introduced that re-conceptualizes the relationship between stage and audience. In the space above, a dancer performs a cadenced choreography of sounds, speaking in a metrical language with his/her feet. Out of sight and beyond reach, the public cannot see but only hear, feel, or sense the sonic trace of a composition that unfolds above their heads.
A step, a walk, a leap, or a turn, take over the course of time, the form of circles, squares, lines, or other organic shapes. Direction, speed, and distance traveled are all perceptually accessible. Yet these sonic marks are simultaneously punctual and anachronistic, resisting to ground themselves in the unity of any figurative image. The visitors experience these sensations as the continuously changing map that is marked out by the dancer above. Moreover, devoid of any particular image or specific reference, the sounds created conjure an array of affective associations that turn the otherwise empty exhibition space into a huge resonating chamber in which questions of presence and absence, appearance and disappearance, visibility and memory, orientation and disorientation, are evoked through the formal logic of the trace.