The Black Box, UNSW, 2016
Twisted Floating Bodies : Choreographing the nude This practice-based project is an investigation of life drawing practice through the frameworks of choreography and theatre to examine the relationship of the constructed nude body to movement and space. The nude is generated through an embodied engagement in life drawing practice and the application of choreographic practice. Using self-reflective observation, embodied feedback and the choreographic methods of William Forsythe and Xavier Le Roy, I consider the nude as a fiction based on a ‘language of the body’. In this thesis, I examine the processes in which the nude is interpreted and derived from the participation and performance of life-drawing practice. Further to this, choreographic processes are examined to consider the nude as a material object to be choreographed, highlighted by the presentation of the nude within a theatrical framework. Derived from the human form, the nude is a fiction in which its construction can be viewed as a choreographic process, and in experimenting with that process alternative ways of generating the nude can be examined. This project produces contemporary ‘alternative nudes’ by aligning choreography with the phenomenological dimension of drawing. This approach has demonstrated a collision between the inanimate and static with the kinetic and sensual. A brief history of the nude and ‘alternative nudes’ reveal that its construction and reception can be seen as a mirror of cultural and social ideology and beliefs. The artwork is a theatrical installation that combines drawing techniques, installation of scrims, motorised movement and computer coding. In examining the process of creating the fictional nude bodies choreographic techniques are evidenced and choreographic thinking can provide a means to account for how movement can open up the nude to new and nuanced meaning. Subsequently, the understanding of movement and the body through choreographic thought can be aligned with the performance and theorisation of life drawing practice.