Cecilia Bengolea conceives of performance as a form of animated sculpture, allowing her to become both object and subject simultaneously. Working primarily in video installation and performance, her compositions are formed around ideas of both the individual and collective body as a medium infused with the symbolic energies found within nature and empathic relationships.
In Dancehall Weather, we present the first of several examples of the artist’s profound love of the genre and the expressive movement intrinsic to it. Filmed on location in Jamaica, Bengolea documents routines at various times of day and in various weather conditions, working in collaboration with some of dancehall’s most pioneering dancers and musicians, including Black Eagle, Equiknoxx, Kissy McCoy, Erika Miyauichi and Oshane Overload. Originally presented as an installation in which video clips are displayed in an algorithmically generated sequence, the above version of Dancehall Weather was exclusively edited for Fact.
“Dancing in the wet weather of the Caribbean, sweat and tropical rain further dissolve the boundaries between inside and outside”, says Bengolea, “reminding us perhaps that inner body fluid is an electrical conductor that functions for the body in similar ways to the synapses of the brain.”
Bengolea has exhibited all over the world, including at the Tate Modern, the ICA and at the Hayward Gallery, has worked on a number of fêted collaborations with choreographer François Chaignaud and has worked with visual artists including Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Damion Wallace and Jeremy Deller.
“Movements are facts”, she explains. “Mainly, my work is about the body inventing out its own sources, its own rituals. For what purpose? To completely erase violence from the memory of the body, my own body, but also the social body we constitute collectively. The movements I create have a common denominator: no attack and no hierarchy among the movements. This is why dance is political”.