A new video work by GeoVanna Gonzalez premieres to the public for free at New World Symphony’s SoundScape Park on April 15 from 7:30-9:30pm in conjunction with the City of Miami Beach’s Culture Crawl and Poetry Month. Commissioned by Locust Projects in conjunction with the artist’s current exhibition on view through May 22, the public screening of the new video at the spacious outdoor venue at SoundScape Park provides a safe, socially-distanced means of exchange and engagement essential to Gonzalez’s work.
HOW TO: Oh, look at me is a film that captures the multi-layered, interdisciplinary performance by GeoVanna Gonzalez, conceived as an activation of her sculptural installation of the same name. The performance features an original musical score by Batrypowr, involves two dancers, Cheina Ramos and Alondra Balbuena, and two poets, Zaina Alsous and Arsimmer McCoy, who interact with and exist within the structure.
In the film, two dancers mirror each other, executing controlled, restrained movements in canon. They move in and around the structure independently, separately, as if following their own invisible trajectory. The choreography captures the removed feeling of technology and virtual communication, while also incorporating the organic, visceral nature of the human body and face-to-face communication. Throughout the film, the dancers find moments of encounter: they meet each other’s gaze briefly or reach out to each other longingly before continuing on their course. It is in these momentary, albeit intense, interactions that we are reminded of ourselves through the other. The music is composed of amorphous sounds syncretized to expand and contract until they become individual notes in their simplest form. Simultaneously, the poets recite words they’ve written in response to the installation, an accompaniment to the movements and the music around them.
Through the film, Gonzalez examines how forms of communication and miscommunication, both in person and mediated, reflect our self-awareness and condition our perception of those around us. The structure is Gonzalez’s visual interpretation of Martin Jackson’s poem, “No Rothko”, created through a series of errors that developed from a voice to text algorithm. It is these “errors” — the misunderstandings, the technological glitches, the anomalies of language — that enable the creation and manifestation of alternative narratives and possibilities for living.
Gonzalez’s film functions as an added layer of meaning, a translation of a translation. The diversity of mediums simultaneously occurring and occupying creates a living installation where each of the performers is communicating with and in spite of one another. HOW TO: Oh, look at me is a compendium of movements, sounds, voices, a space for otherness.
Look at me. Oh, look at me. We have to start now. The last lines of the poem are both an affirmation of existence, as much as a begging call; a plea to be understood, as much as a stance in defiance.
— by Laura Novoa, Curatorial + Public Programs Associate at Bakehouse Art Complex
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