“I wondered for a moment if this was how the universe felt before it expanded.”
Artist Myriam Lefkowitz’s ongoing project Walk, Hands, Eyes (a city) examines the relationship formed between a city and its inhabitants. Over the course of an hour’s silent walk through a city, a participant and a guide form an immersive relationship with their surroundings through the simple acts of walking, seeing, and touching.
I was one of eight performers commissioned to work with Myriam Lefkowitz and performers Julie Laporte, Francesca Cogni and Jean-Philippe Derail to lead one-to-one guided explorations of Plymouth as part of the city-wide visual arts festival, the Plymouth Art Weekender September 23, 24 and 25, 2016.
We spent a week being trained by Myriam and her team in the artist's intuitive and imaginative practice so we could deliver her two connected pieces: Walk, Hands, Eyes (a city) and How Can One Know In Such Darkness.
The training included exercises in gaze, touch and devising performance within live and public settings. It considered:
- Changing or shifting perceptions of your surroundings
- Exploring the relationship between mind and body
- Body-centred practices involving the use of touch and movement
- Experiencing and engaging in one-to-one performance
- Live performance techniques
You can read an Interview with Myriam about the work here: http://www.situations.org.uk/interview-with-myriam-lefkowitz/
The project was commissioned by internationally renowned public art producers Situations and supported by Arts Council England, Plymouth Art Weekender, Plymouth Culture and Barbican Theatre.
Myriam Lefkowitz is a performance artist, based in Paris. Since 2010, her research has focused on questions of attention and perception, through different immersive devices involving one spectator and one performer. Her work has been presented at the Venice Biennal, at Le Nouveau festival in Pompidou Center (Paris), for the Public Art Agency (Sweden), at the Center for Contemporary Art (Vilnius), for the Buenos Aires dance festival, among others. She has spoken at the Museum of Modern Art Georges Pompidou (Paris), The Palais de Tokyo (Paris), Open School East (London), la HEAD (Geneva), the Royal Institute of Art (Artistic Research and Development, Stockholm), the School of Architecture (Versailles).