I study gestures. And often, I apply a scientific approach to my study. I reduce bodily movements down to their component parts. I strip my objects of study out of their contexts, removing any artifact, clothing or space/place that might interfere or distract. I often choose to shoot my photographs/videos in a dark studio or in a whited-out space, bereft of all detail. And the work is more times then not the result of short bursts of intense activity. All this helps me bring a certain amount of focus on the gesture itself.
This is how my micro-performances came about. I decided to shoot simple, loose ideas quickly. Working with someone like Alina helps tremendously. I appear at my studio with some props and half-baked ideas. I know what I want and I have a visual in my head that directs me. Enter Alina. She gets me and she gets movement, pose and attitude. I proceed to set up the backdrops and lights for the shoot and we spend 5 to 15 minutes pulling something out of a set of loose ideas.
My micro performances are loosely scripted largely spontaneous events that focus on space and the performer's body. The work is about the performer's spontaneous actions and reactions to particular set of constrains to the body at a given place and time.
And I have chosen to document my micro performances with a set of stills. I am interested in capturing the performer's frozen gestures in space as within the fine arts of painting, sculpture and architecture. More than the gesture itself I want my photographs to catch the pause between gestures, the moment say before Alina falls or gives up ( in the photos below) and the anticipation of this eventuality. Anticipation of a gesture is often more compelling then the gesture itself.
My original idea for these works was to capture the feeling of being trapped by a set of gestures particularly in worship and mourning.
I often record some of the preparatory work that goes into making these micro performances successful.