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PRELUDE Festival 2023


Forms Of Restraint

David Michalek and Ensemble

Performance Art, Theater, Other


60 minutes


Sunday, October 22, 2023

The Club at LaMaMa; 74A East 4th Street, 2nd floor

Forms of Restraint will manifest both as a static installation—composed of paintings, photographs and sculptures—and as an immersive work of live performance, in which the sculptures double as restraining devices. Aesthetically, the work will synthesize two tendencies: the sense of cool ambivalence exacerbated by the technology of classical lines and minimalist forms in minimalist space; and the heat of the sex-danger phantasm that haunts the live performance scenes and images. More philosophically, it will engage topics such as time, the relationship between dance and visual art, gender and sexuality, partnering, representation and self-identification and the mechanics of the gaze.

The ensemble performance focuses on Rope bondage and elements of the slow-moving dance technique known as Butoh. These forms will be intertwined and further merged with visual art, music, and dramaturgy. As a whole, the performance will function as a research laboratory for exploring these practices’ possibilities of cross-pollination and the opening of questions around entangled identities. Furthermore, it will establish a field in which to raise questions, challenge established binaries (such as dominance and submission), subvert normative expectations, and explore issues of agency, consent, and the fluidity of identity.

The creators are interested in two modes of presentation for this work: 1) within an event structure that includes performance dates and times; 2) as emergent from within the unmediated temporality of an exhibition

Content / Trigger Description:

David Michalek was born and raised in California. He lives and works in New York City. Michalek's body of work ranges from photography, drawing, video/sound installations and live performance to site-specific works of public art. His focus over the past ten years has been closely tied to his interest in the contemporary person, which he explores through the use of performance techniques, storytelling, movement and gesture. His work in video has been focused on capturing marginal moments —carefully staged — that with minimal action develop density through the interplay of image, sound and most especially time. Exploring notions of durational and rhythmic time (as opposed to the referential time used in cinema) in both form and content, his works engage in intimate yet open narratives. His recent work considers the potentiality of various forms of slowness alongside an examination of contemporary modes of public attention.

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Explore more performances, talks and discussions at PRELUDE 2023

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