UNTITLED MIND - Nuit Blanche, Art All Night DC - 2013
"UNTITLED MIND" - Film for installation and cinematic presentation
"Untitled Mind" is a multilayered mapped projection design conceived as a short film video dance piece that explores the otherness in the self, focusing in the idea of the mirrored one, the creative ability, the dream, the unconscious mind.
Directed and filmed by Laia Cabrera, the piece is based on an original idea by Catherine Correa in collaboration with awarded choreographer Alexandre Proia.
The piece features two actors/dancers Catherine Correa and Jonathan Royse Windham with production design and visual effects by Isabelle Duverger,
music by Javier Moreno Sanchez, sound design by Gisella-Fulla Silvestre and Arooj Aftab, assistant production by Florencia Minniti.
The piece is a multimedia video and sound installation inspired by Emma Jung notion of the "Amandus": "The Amandus lures the girl into his house, gives her wine to drink and afterwards takes her into the underground (psyche) to kill her. As he prepares himself for this, a sort of intoxication overcomes the girl. In a sudden impulse of love, she embraces the murderer, who is immediately robbed of his power and dissolves after promising to stand by her side in the future a helpful spirit." Both rest in harmony in the bed of the unconscious.
Then it evolved to the idea of the unconscious mind. The unconscious mind is still viewed by many psychological scientists as the shadow of a ''real'' conscious mind, though there now exists substantial evidence that the unconscious is not identifiably less flexible, complex, controlling, deliberative, or action-oriented than is its counterpart. Actions of an unconscious mind precede the arrival of a conscious mind—that action precedes reflection.
The piece will have a visual mapping of the space, built as a kind of labyrinth using columns, patterns and multi-display screens with an interactive intelligent set for audience participation triggered by color and sound.
Two dancers, a man and a woman as one individual, its body and consciousness being interpreted as a duality. Their characters are gradually revealed through fragments of action and their relationship evolves through different moods and states. The significance of the moment is explored as time is slowed down, reverse, invert, stretched, sped up, repeated and stopped. One feeds the other with inputs from reality, until the other finally becomes aware of itself and awakes to resume the other's power. It becomes a conflict between what is reality and what are the intentions of one towards the other. The ordinary scene of a dinner becomes the absurdity of the human dysfunctionality, the growing of the one becomes the suffocation of the other, for one to live, the other one has to disappear. At the beginning, you could read the piece as an ordinary couple with a conflict in roles, until the moment the roles shift, the gravity changes, the reality is composed and tricked, the locations disturbed, and chaos enters the scene. Unconscious feelings, unconscious or automatic skills, unnoticed perceptions, unconscious thoughts, unconscious habits and automatic reactions, complexes, hidden phobias and concealed desires. There is no narrative closure, in which everything in a story ties up and makes sense by the end.
The challenge in making video dance is always to invent a new language. We wanted to take human movement as its subject and through it, convey the very essence of human existence. Here, highly textural images and surreal compositions, unidentifiable, yet obviously derived from images of human action, are edited using a complex set design, game of gravity and sense of hyper and/or virtual reality.
Through the use of close ups and different angles, the camera can take the viewer to places they could not usually reach. The lens can enter the dancer's kinesphere – the personal space that moves with them as they dance – framing the detail of the movement and allowing an intimacy that would be unattainable in a live performance context. Often the movement of the body parts outside the frame creates interesting and active viewing, dynamics and tension within the shot and forcing the viewers' imagination to come into play.
The choreographed camera, moving through space in relationship to the dancers, alters our perception of the dance, rendering it three-dimensional and creating a fluid and lively viewing experience. The narratives that emerge tend to be subtle and intriguing, suggested rather than explained, impressionistic rather than literal.
We recorded a series of improvisations with 'rules' suggested by knowledge of the possible spatial and motional relationships between camera and dancers. Through rehearsal and repetition, a vocabulary of framing and movement was built up, forming a palette of video dance material that was then 'choreographed' in the edit suite. We wanted to explore ways of conveying energy and speed on screen. 40% of the material was improvised, with the remainder being set in a highly structured choreographic piece.
Find and communicate ideas that can only be expressed through this hybrid medium and using a style and syntax that is unique to video dance.
The piece relates to the body and choreographic language and is thought for the camera. As such, we use digital tools for the scenic language and the interactive dance.
The body contains social practices that agrees and modifies. It builds a semantic and historic territory repeats scenes and creates dramaturgies, experience, temporary nature; it is a subjective production opened to changes and transformations that merges architecture and movement.
The objective of the piece is to be presented as a short video dance film multilayered as a video-sound installation dance performance. The music has been composed specifically for the piece and we had created a sound design that navigates thought the space and the images.
Projection through multiple surfaces that have varying degrees of translucency, resulting in an illusion of greater depth. For this piece and the richness of its visual approach we need to project on different layers into the open space or onto three-dimensional objects. We approach the design as a combination of content and imagery and the way that imagery is displayed.
Projection Design, Video and Sound Installation by Laia Cabrera and Isabelle Duverger
Based on an original idea by Catherine Correa in collaboration with awarded choreographer Alexandre Proia
Directed by Laia Cabrera
Choreography by Alexandre Proia
Dancers: Catherine Correa and Jonathan Royse Windham
Cinematography and Editing by Laia Cabrera and Isabelle Duverger
Production Design and Visual effects by Isabelle Duverger
Music by Javier Moreno Sanchez, performed by Javier Moreno Sanchez and Cat Toren
Sound Design by Gisella-Fulla Silvestre
Sound Recording by Arooj Aftab
Assistant production: Florencia Minniti and Lluis Tarrida
The piece was also presented as site specific installations at:
JCAST HQ, Jersey City, 2018
Plaxall Gallery, Long Island City, New York, 2019