Lorna Simpson b. 1960
A vast two-screen film piece entitled Momentum (2010). Here, the memory of that dance performance from her childhood is transformed into something more playful and questioning. Almost seven minutes long, the performance is mirrored on the screens and begins before the actual dancing, with the dancers standing still. Everyone has gold skin and hair as well as a gold costume, so the film seems both mundane – the dancers wait, pirouette, stand still, look bored – and yet imbued with a Hollywood musical unrealness. Again, there is an odd flatness to proceedings, as if the memory of her initial disappointment is the key emotional determinant here.
I found myself studying faces and gestures – that word again – as I waited for a moment of revelation that never quite materialised. Instead, the dancers twirl and stop, twirl and stop, some more graceful than others, some utterly absorbed, some less so. What you are seeing is the mechanics of performance: the waiting, the doing, the redoing, all made new by an artist's – rather than an artistic director's – wilfully undramatic choreography.