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[Model Love: a collaboration between Edward Dimsdale and Bodies in Flight]
Provided by the artist - Edward Dimsdale
Model Love: a collaboration between Edward Dimsdale and Bodies in Flight
In one part of the room, a performer gathers up the scattered pages of a book and begins carefully sewing them, leaf by leaf, back into some semblance of sequence. The enigmatic images contained therein purport to capture an instance of love at first sight, but they may also constitute an allegory, articulated in obscure mythic form, of the photographic moment.
Another corner, another performer, another book; only this time the volume is being dismantled, slowly dissected with scalpel and scrutiny - reading lectern here becomes mortuary slab - and the newly eviscerated images are re-collaged onto the wall and subjected to feverish forensic examination. Is the focus of enquiry a doomed love affair (and its messy Travelodge denouement)? Or are we witnessing a post-mortem of the photographic image itself?
Meanwhile, surrounded by a sea of the photographic self-portraits of lonely-hearts culled from dating websites, a musician improvises, setting their sometimes poignant, sometimes absurd online postings to music, before indelibly fusing image and posting text together between the blankets of an etching press.
Elsewhere, there are other images and artefacts. Taken together, they might add up to a veritable lovers' manualābut for lovers of what, exactly?
Contemporary assumption often seeks to define performance and the photograph in crudely oppositional terms, the 'liveness' of the one hopelessly contaminated by the 'stilling' implicit in the other. And yet, Barthes relates photographs, and the photographic act, more closely to the rituals of theatre than to the conventions of painting and other visual arts.
Featuring performers Catherine Dyson and Graeme Rose, and musician/composer Sam Halmarak, with choreography by Sara Giddens and text by Simon Jones, Model Love is a collaboration between photographer Edward Dimsdale and experimental theatre company Bodies In Flight, which seeks to bring performance and the photograph into some sort of productive collision.
Having premiered at Arnolfini, Bristol, in February 2008, in a performance version, the show now comes to the Battersea Arts Centre (Lavender Hill, SW11) in a new durational configuration. Part of BAC's May Burst Festival, the 'action' is elaborated over two evenings, May 8th & 9th, between 6pm and 10pm. The audience is welcome to come and go at will. There's no need to book and entrance is free. There are other activities going on as part of the festival and, of course, a bar.