Bergen Kunsthall presents a large-scale live project by London-based artist SERAFINE1369, formerly known as Last Yearz Interesting Negro (2015–2020).
Their methodology is intuitive and many-headed, embracing multiplicity and considering the interrelatedness of myriad systems. Through the synthesis of their research into the embodied situation, forms and poetics emerge and organically extend into text, video, installation, sound and performance. SERAFINE1369’s practice is relational, cumulative and often collaborative. They work at different scales and in different roles to build spaces for communing/attuning/communicating.
For SERAFINE1369, working with bodies is working with vibration — sound, light, frequency, relationship. These lines of tension create a sense of expansion, dimension, dissonance and resonance; a sense of relation. Their performances are containers, frames or machines, that conjure many voices through the interplay between dancing, sound, objects, words and light.
“Azimuth Zenith Nadir” proposes a liveness conjured by sequencing and interrelation. It is a hybrid installation stemming from SERAFINE1369’s work across automated multi-media installations and their research into dancing and embodied practice. The work proposes that liveness is not dependent on the presence of live performers, only a sense of movement and systemic entanglement. Audiences become resonant bodies themselves, playing a vital role for the liveness of the work. Still, at shifting times each day, the alchemical practice of dancing is brought into the mix.
The choreography is a meditative (de-)composition that involves the performers tuning into the minutiae of their sensing capacities. Noticing what is already t/here and letting this move through their bodies, this kind of focus speaks to meditative, devotional and transcendent practices.
The sound and movement scores work with the counting of time, acknowledging and confronting clock-time as a linear system of control; one of the invisible systems that choreograph bodies in life.
Stillness, the counting of time, a body of water, a breaking storm and the frequencies of the planets as we orbit the sun and respond to the moon; the work offers a space to be sensed and experienced, to be immersed in.
“Azimuth Zenith Nadir” is a show of elements that become constellations, moving in relation to create a system, a kind of weather.
The work visibly develops SERAFINE1369’s ongoing research into non-linear time, unsettling internalised hierarchies and “oracular practice”, reworking and reincorporating fragments of music and sculpture from previous works. It is a cumulative, cyclical research that sees references to the artist’s archive appear in different ways as a strategy for embodying the concepts and ethics that they work with and gathering new perspectives.
The words azimuth, zenith and nadir are astronomical terms – ways of comprehending space-time and distance, lines that describe specific celestial placements in relation to the body of the observer.
SERAFINE1369 is an artist, dancer and body-focused researcher working with dancing as a philosophical undertaking, a political project with ethical psycho-spiritual ramifications for being-in-the-world. Their practice unfolds at the interstices of dance, art, philosophy and divination. Recent projects were presented at IMMATERIAL Mexico-City (2023) Martin Gropius Bau, Berlin (2022), Liverpool Biennale (2021), Tate Britain (2021), Tai Kwun, Hong Kong (2021), CA2M, Madrid (2020), MDT, Stockholm (2020), Silencio, Paris (2019), Transmediale, Berlin (2019), Barbican, London (2019), Café Oto, London (2019), ICA, London (2018), Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2018), amongst others.
SERAFINE1369 (Concept, choreography, direction) with Darcy Wallace, Natifah White, Jose Funnell (Performance), Josh Anio Grigg (Sound Design), Jackie Shemesh (Lighting Design), soft tissue studio (Set Design), Nancy May Roberts, Metal & Water Productions (Production), Kingsley Walters Studio (Leather Work), H S Design Studios Ltd (Metal Work), AGF Hydra (Latex Curtains), Sofie Vinther (Curtains), Trev Flash, TETRA (additional music).