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salt’ is a shared improvisation in place by means of body, camera and movement A dancer brings his body and senses to meet the elements, speeds, textures and scales of place A videographer carries her camera as an extension of her whole body, not just her eye, as she weaves an improvised response to the dancer and the place The place is Lake Crosbie and Lake Hardy, Victoria, on Country whose custodians are The First Peoples of Millewa-Mallee who identify primarily as Ngintait and Latji Latji. These vast, isolated lakes continually shift between transparent and pink water, dry salt crusts, hard as broken car window glass, and grey gelato slosh. The air is clear, thin and totally silent - except where it brushes against our ear, jacket or microphone. Credits Director/Dancer/Choreographer Peter Fraser Videographer/Editor Vanessa White Sound Designer Dale Gorfinkel Bio's PETER FRASER performs improvised and site-specific dance, musical collaborations and installations. His work, over three decades, includes extended desert inhabitations, theatre projects and durational performance. He worked extensively with De Quincey Co ensemble whose guiding practice is Body Weather, which conceives body, mind and environment as intermingled and fluid. He co-founded the Environmental Performance Authority (EPA) which creates place-based participatory performance. Recent projects include Ros Crisp’s DIRt [dance in regional disaster zones] and his ongoing practice includes Sounds Like Movement, a duo with instrument-builder/musician Dale Gorfinkel, exploring the relationship of movement, materials/objects and sound; About Now improvisation research quartet; and Prophets stylefree music group. Peter’s workshops aim to release the body from habits so that it is available to transformation by imagination and bodily sensation. His MA thesis investigated somatic Strategies for Truthful Performance. Dale Gorfinkel Born on Gadigal land and now based in Narrm, Dale is a musician, artist and facilitator passionate about inclusivity, bringing communities together, and shifting boundaries of scenes and art forms. With a focus on improvisation and instrument building, he has presented installations and performances throughout Australia and internationally. His numerous collaborations include Prophets, Sounds Like Movement with Peter Fraser, the East African band Chikchika and Snacks. Dale has worked as a sound-designer for dance, video and film including Gugu naGogo (ABC/Screen Australia). He has worked for many years as a facilitator with Arts Access Victoria, and also taught instrument building at RMIT, and developed multi-media works with school students with Regional Arts Victoria. In 2014 he was awarded an Emerging Artist Creative Fellowship from the Australia Council. Vanessa White’s diverse creative output includes video and painting. Her video work is expansive, drawing on ethereal performance traditions, in concert with images of the landscape and environment, to see how the reformulation of the body in motion can be made to perform and narrate meaning. In addition to training in dance and improvisational theatre, Vanessa has a Masters in Fine Art from Sydney College of the Arts and has worked extensively in film and television, including as a visual effects artist on the feature film The Matrix and SBS TV. Recent National and international recognition include screenings at (2022) Nordic Film Festival at the National Arts Centre, Ottawa, Canada; FLOW screen dance series, presented by ADT, Adelaide (2021); ’Salt Lake’ was acquired for permanent collection at the LaTrobe Regional Gallery, Morwell. Screenings at Košice's Kunsthalle Museum, Slovakia (2020) and awarded Best Cinematographer, Alternative Film Festival, Toronto, Canada (2019)
'Split Rock' Gülsen Özer, Vanessa White and Ania Reynolds About the art work: 'Split Rock' is a site responsive video artwork engaging in local history, geology and mythology. Through a process of mining historical data and mingling it with speculative fictions, collaborators Gülsen Özer, Vanessa White and Ania Reynolds, render this research into a poetic form. In the work the dancer performs durational choreographies that invite new, ways of connecting to place. Similarly the film techniques used in the work re-imagine our bodies’ engagement with, and contributions to, ecological assemblages. One of the critical elements of the video work is the interpretation and visualisation of corporeal and non-verbal experience; finding new ways to document and communicate the unspoken and ineffable. The reformulation of the body in motion explores uncanny effects, producing new, visceral possibilities and meaning. Various forms of creative expression are integrated in the work to provide conceptual fluidity and material flexibility. The final form and narrative structure is embedded in the imagery of the landscape and environment. In collaboration Gülsen, Vanessa, and Ania examine gesture and form of the body in space suffused with sound and music. The three artists from different artistic backgrounds combine to provide a substantive addition to the lexicon of possible meaning for audiences witnessing this artwork. About the Geological and Historical influences: The performance, choreography, filming and editing within the artwork is enhanced by a considered engagement with the earth sciences, as well as other historical data. The rocky outcrops pictured in the work are all within the 'Tynong Batholith'; a large geographical area of granite rock, mostly still deep beneath the earth formed by magma. They have been subject to ‘mechanical weathering’, also called ‘physical weathering’ and ‘disaggregation’. This is one of the predominant causes for granite rocks, such as those depicted in the film, to crumble. For instance, in mechanical weathering liquid water can seep into cracks and crevices in rock. If temperatures drop low enough, the water will freeze. When water freezes, it expands. The ice then works as a wedge. It slowly widens the cracks and splits the rock. When ice melts, liquid water performs the act of erosion by carrying away the tiny rock fragments lost in the split. Other mechanical weathering includes the small growth of flora, such a moss and trees that can also enlarge cracks in rocks. Another is salt, which can also get into cracks and break rocks apart. The highest altitude location for this film is Mount Cannibal. The naming history of Mount Cannibal comes from a corruption of the Aboriginal word ‘couna’ meaning ‘forehead’ and ‘bal’ meaning ‘he’ or ‘she’. This refers to the head-like shape of the Mount Cannibal rocky outcrop. ‘Counabal’ was an important navigational marker for Aboriginal people and it continues to be a significant landmark and nature reserve for Aboriginal people. This granite outcrop is one of the largest displays in southern Victoria and the large boulders located here are over 350 million years old. 'Split Rock' Choreographer/Dancer – Gülsen Özer Video – Vanessa White Music – Ania Reynolds Thanks to Fatima Almeida – Project management support Tracey Burrows – Research; Geology Tony and Gai Fitzgerald – Local knowledge Fergus Floyd – Filming Assistance Dr. John Floyd – Research; Mechanical weathering of Granite George Fry – Local knowledge/Aboriginal knowledge Janine Good – Research; Geology Kristen Jackson – Pandemic Response Team/Location access Sue Jarvis – Local knowledge Upper Beaconsfield Community – Facebook Group/Local knowledge Special thanks to Thora Solveig Bergsteinsdottir James Fischer Amanda Gibson Vivienne Rogis Cr Jeff Springfield We are grateful for opportunity to work on the traditional land of the Kulin Nation. We acknowledge and pay respect to Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia; to Elders and all Aboriginal people, acknowledging sovereignty was never ceded. Gulsen Ozer, Vanessa White and Ania Reynolds This artwork was created with funding by the Cardinia Council during the 2020 COVID 19 pandemic and in accordance with the relevant COVID 19 restrictions at the time of shooting. Contact the artists: www.gulsenozer.com www.vanessawhiteart.com www.aniareynolds.com
'Salt Lake' - Lake Tyrrell, Pink Lakes VIC
Screenings: July 2020 - 'Distant Nature' Knoll Galerie Wien AUSTRIA, Fotograf Gallery Prague CZECH REPUBLIC, MAO / DIG in K13 - Kasarne Kulturpark Košice SLOVAKIA June 2020 - Honourable mention, Experimental Forum Film Festival, Los Angeles US 2020 Acquired for permanent collection Latrobe Regional Gallery March 2020 - Adelaide Arts Festival Centre, SA Jan-Feb 2020 - 'Moving Pictures', LaTrobe Regional Gallery, Morwell VIC Sept 2019 - Arts Mildura, 'Salt Body' exhibition, VIC July 2019 - 'The Vision Splendid Outback Film Festival', Winton QLD Performer: Peter Fraser Video: Vanessa White Music: Michael Havir and Ania Reynolds Filmed at Lake Tyrrell, Sea Lake, VIC Australia ‘Salt Lake’ is a poetic video that visualises and explores our need to engage with and connect to the natural world. As both a part of nature and a witness to nature, our impact is fraught with responsibility for the challenges and dangers of climate change. ‘Salt Lake’ is a mesmerising and haunting cinematic journey into a sublime pearlescent void, following a figure through a seemingly endless, dream-like landscape. Within this lake site, the interplay between performer and camera is choreographed precisely, merging an inner mind-scape with an outer landscape to generate liminal insights, evocatively connecting human perception with the natural environment. Filmed at Lake Tyrrell in the Mallee district of Victoria, the lake is formed by a shallow, salt-crusted depression. Here land and sky appear to merge as the shallow, lake-water reflects an image of the sky. The lake takes its name from the Wergaia word for ‘sky.’ ===================================== Last year Peter and I spent two weeks filming at Lake Tyrrell and Pink Lakes Murray Sunset National Park. This video is the first in a series of work that we created there. This video draws on the ethereal and intuitive performance traditions of Butoh and Improvisation, in concert with the images of landscape and the environment, to see how the strangeness and the reformulation of the body in motion can be made to perform and narrate meaning.
'23° West' - Award winning dance film - Iceland
Screenings: July 2020 - 'Distant Nature', Knoll Galerie Wien, Fotograf Gallery Prague and MAO / DIG in K13 - Kasarne Kulturpark Košice. Simultaneous screenings Dec 2019 - Norton Museum of Art, Palm Beach International Mini Movie and Film Festivals, Florida US Nov 2019 - The Hague Global Cinema Festival NL April 2019 - AltFF Spring - Alternative Film Festival Toronto CANADA - Winner Super Short Film Best Cinematography Finalist in The 65th Blake Prize, Casulla Power House NSW Oct 2018 - '40 North Dance Film Festival' Official Selection, San Diego US May 2018 - 'Odile', Dandenong Regional Gallery, Melbourne AUSTRALIA May 2017 - '23:22 NW 223°', Gallery SÍM, Reykjavík, ICELAND ---------------------------------------- '23° West' was shot in the Western region of Iceland during my artist residency at SIM. Three artists from different counties come together to create this collaborative film project. Dancer Icelandic, choreographer Finnish and video Australian. Dancer: Thora Solveig Bergsteinsdottir Choreographer: Favela Vera Ortiz Video artist: Vanessa White Thank you: Frank van de Ven, Gabrielle Mimram, Janet Tavener, Rew Hank, Katrin Helena Jonsdottir, SIM Residency. Artist statement: Created by Australian interdisciplinary artist Vanessa White, Finnish choreographer Favela Vera Ortiz and Icelandic performer Thora Solveig Bergsteinsdottir. Shot on location in the West region of Iceland around the Snaefellsjokull glacier and National Park. 23 West brings together Australian interdisciplinary artist Vanessa White, Finnish choreographer Favela Vera Ortiz and Icelandic performer Thora Solveig Bergsteinsdottir. The work was filmed in the West region of Iceland around Snæfellsjökull (the glacier) and National Park. In a landscape rendered treeless by generations of human land use and millennia of successive glaciations White, Vera Ortiz and Bergsteinsdottir create a work that uses location, movement, and an expanded video mise en scene to enact an inner landscape. They perform visually and bodily the process of navigating the terrain of emotion, thought and ideas creating for the viewer a rich imaginary space where it is possible to inhabit the work as a psychic theatre to reflect on a personal relationship to navigating the passing of time. Bergsteinsdottir and Vera Ortiz devise a Butoh influenced language of movement which with the continuous repetition of falling, standing, grappling with the landscape and contemplation evokes a Beckett like stoicism. I can’t go on. I’ll go on. White expands the timeframe of the movement and the editing so that actions occur simultaneously outside linear time. Viewers experience both the movements of Bergsteinsdottir and the landscape itself as a floating continuum of associations allowing the work to form a more abstract totality. One where both the metaphor and the physical actualities of movement and landscape combine to create the work. Bio’s Thora Solveig Bergsteinsdottir is an Icelandic performer and artist based in Akureyri, Iceland. Her works involve the physical embodiment of interior images and explore body, movement, and nature through her works. The underlying themes in her work are movement and a state of being, investigating physical presence and relationships to the natural environment. Growing up in the north of Iceland, nature and the elements have been a strong influence on her work. Thora graduated from the Iceland Academy of the Arts in 2004. She has performed and exhibited throughout Europe and China and has work represented in the Akureyri Art Museum, Iceland collection. Favela Vera Ortiz is a Finnish-Argentinian choreographer based in Helsinki, Finland. She creates compositions that extend the boundaries of the body, self, and space. Favela is well known as an inventor of Choreographer’s Appointment, in which participants find their solo movements with the choreographer, and engage in a social form of personal choreography with a performance. Favela has worked with multiple themes in her native Finland, in Stockholm, Buenos Aires, Paris, and Melbourne, Australia, to name a few locations. She studied at the University of Dance, choreographer department in Stockholm, Sweden. Choreographed works for dance companies in Buenos Aires and in Gothenburg and! has worked at several artist residencies including The Cité Internationale des Arts Paris, France. Vanessa White is an Australian visual and interdisciplinary artist based in Melbourne, Australia. Her work traverses multiple disciplines predominantly working with, painting, animation, and performance. Vanessa navigates pathways through visceral artworks exploring longstanding traditions of aesthetic and philosophical debate about art and identity. E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: vanessawhite.me vanessawhitemedia.com favelaveraortiz.tumblr.com solla.org
Choreographer/performer Gülsen Özer, videographer Vanessa White and composer/sound designer Ania Reynolds present a site-responsive dance film. Living for the past 10 years in the Southeast of Melbourne has shaped Özer's artistry, enabling her to develop a site-specific practice that has expanded into collaborative screen dance work with White and Reynolds. Revisiting Özer’s childhood home, Casterton (Gunditjmara country) the trio reimagines Özer’s past experience to create ‘Cascade’. The work reflects Özer’s formative explorations into dance improvisation within the landscape, developing the three artists’ ongoing interests in deep ecology, cultural memory, and imagination. In the work, the dancer performs durational choreographies that invite new, ways of connecting to place. Similarly, the film techniques used in the work re-imagine our bodies’ engagement with, and contributions to, ecological assemblages. One of the critical elements of the video work is the interpretation and visualisation of the body and non-verbal experience; finding new ways to document and communicate the unspoken and ineffable. The reformulation of the body in motion explores uncanny effects, producing new, visceral possibilities and meaning. Various forms of creative expression are integrated into the work to provide conceptual fluidity and material flexibility. The final form and narrative structure are embedded in the imagery of the landscape and environment. The sounds of the landscape and environment are also present in the score. Through audio processing and manipulation, these sounds occupy a space between the naturalistic and the abstract, creating a sense of place that is sonically reflective rather than literal. ‘Cascade’ is the second collaborative film Ozer, White and Reynolds have created. Previous film ‘Split Rock’ screened at numerous International Film Festivals gaining international recognition (2022) awarded Honourable Mention at the Tokyo International Short Film Festival, Japan and an Award of Excellence, Global Shorts Film Festival; (2021) awarded an Honourable Mention at the Toronto Indie Filmmakers Festival, Canada. Supported by Bunjil Place - Common Ground
'Songs of Becoming' - Screen Dance
'Songs of Becoming' Dancers: Peter Fraser Frank van de Ven Videographer: Vanessa White Sound Design: Dale Gorfinkel Sponsors and Support: Arts Mildura Helen Vivian Ross Lake Thanks: Riley Davison, Erica Tarquinio, Dean Worthington, Domenico de Clario, Gareth Hart, Rach Kendrigan, Matt Shortt, Mildura Brickworks and Andrew Buffon For this dance film we proposed five ‘songs’ to be elaborated through improvised dance Each song was based on a way of understanding and experiencing identity as illusion, connection between beings, in-betweenness, multiplicity or ecologically-entangled Each ‘song’ had its own physical character, location, time of day, and suggested camera approach. Weather, locations and time available re-shaped what we did, but the work remained driven by these ‘song’ themes. Our attempt to experience and explore disparate modes of identity was not meant to be explicitly visible but to give us a shared focus free of everyday self-consciousness. Frank van de Ven, Peter Fraser Songs of Becoming was danced and filmed at sites around Mildura -red sand dunes, riverside scrub, a salt lake and a disused Brickworks -on Latji Latji, Nyeri Nyeri, Ngintait and Wergaia Country. We would like to acknowledge the Latji Latji, Nyeri Nyeri, Ngintait,and Wergaia people as the Traditional Owners of the land on which we worked, along with their neighbours the Barkindji, Maraura, MuttiMutti, Tatti Tatti and Wotjabaluk people. We pay our respects to elders past and present. Proudly supported by ARTS MILDURA ARTIST BIO's FRANK VAN DE VEN is a dancer and director who spent his formative years in Japan working with Min Tanaka and the Maijuku Performance Company (1983-92). In 1993, he founded with Katerina Bakatsaki Body Weather Amsterdam as a platform for training and performance. He performs, directs and teaches regularly all over Europe as well as in the USA, New Zealand and Australia. He has an ongoing commitment to his worldwide Body/Landscape series of immersive projects that research and develop consciousness of the body as an ever evolving, pulsing landscape within a greater surrounding landscape. Since 1995 he leads the annual, interdisciplinary Bohemiae Rosa Project with Milos Sejn (Academy of Art & Design, Prague, Czech Republic,) connecting body and landscape with art, geology and architecture. For more info on Body Weather Amsterdam: bodyweatheramsterdam.nl PETER FRASER performs improvised and site-specific dance, musical collaborations and installations. His work, over three decades, includes extended desert inhabitations, theatre projects and durational performance. He worked extensively with De Quincey Co ensemble whose guiding practice is Body Weather, which conceives body, mind and environment as intermingled and fluid. He co-founded the Environmental Performance Authority (EPA) which creates place-based participatory performance. Recent projects include Ros Crisp’s DIRt [dance in regional disaster zones] and his ongoing practice includes Sounds Like Movement, a duo with instrument-builder/musician Dale Gorfinkel, exploring the relationship of movement, materials/objects and sound; About Now improvisation research quartet; and Prophets stylefree music group. Peter’s workshops aim to release the body from habits so that it is available to transformation by imagination and bodily sensation. His MA thesis investigated somatic Strategies for Truthful Performance. VANESSA WHITE has a diverse creative output including video and painting. Her video work is expansive, drawing on ethereal performance traditions, in concert with images of the landscape and environment, to see how the reformulation of the body in motion can be made to perform and narrate meaning. In addition to training in dance and improvisational theatre, Vanessa has a Masters in Fine Art from Sydney College of the Arts and has worked extensively in film and television, including as a visual effects artist on the feature film The Matrix and SBS TV. Recently her video work ’23° WEST’ screened in the 2022 Nordic Film Festival at the National Arts Centre, Ottawa, Canada. Her previous collaborative film with Gulsen Ozer and Ania Reynolds ‘Split Rock’ has gained International recognition. In 2022 at Tokyo International Short Film Festival, Japan, Honourable Mention; Global Shorts Film Festival, Award of Excellence; 2021 Toronto Indie Filmmakers Festival, Honourable Mention. National and international recognition include ‘Salt Lake’ acquired for permanent collection at LaTrobe Regional Gallery, Morwell. Screenings at Košice's Kunsthalle Museum, Slovakia 2020, Best Cinematographer, Alternative Film Festival, Toronto, Canada, 2019, collaborative screen and performance work at Espoo International City Theatre, Finland (2018) and collaborative film and glass work at Ebeltoft Glasmuseet (Glass Museum), Jutland, Denmark (2013). Her art works have also been acquired by Artbank, City of Yarra and Box Hill College of TAFE collections.
‘Brickworks’ Dancers Peter Fraser Frank van de Ven Videographer Vanessa White Sound Design Dale Gorfinkel Sponsors and Support Arts Mildura Helen Vivian Ross Lake Thanks Riley Davison, Erica Tarquinio, Dean Worthington, Domenico de Clario, Gareth Hart, Rach Kendrigan, Matt Shortt, Andrew Buffon and Mildura Brickworks. We would like to acknowledge the Latji Latji, Nyeri Nyeri, Ngintait, and Wergaia people as the Traditional Owners of the land on which we worked, along with their neighbours the Barkindji, Maraura, Mutti Mutti, Tatti Tatti and Wotjabaluk people. We pay our respects to elders past and present. ‘Brickworks’ was filmed at Mildura Brickworks during Mildura Dust-Off artist residency as part of Arts Mildura 2021 program. Proudly supported by ARTS MILDURA
TOUCHED BY NATURE Episode 1 The Bridge - Video art
'Touched By Nature’ is a multi episode video work comprising five short videos exploring a series of natural and man made environments in and around Helsinki, Finland. Exploring the idea that the material around us, nature and architectural structures are alive. Utilising gestures of the body, physicality and performance as ways of making meaning This is Episode 1 in the series, ‘The Bridge’. Episode 1 The Bridge is located in Kalasatama, named after Isoisänniemi. The steel arch bridge is 170 meters long having the longest chords of all light traffic bridges in Helsinki. The overlay structure is entirely made of steel. TOUCHED BY NATURE Ep 1 The Bridge Ep 2 Ripple Ep 3 Isle of Sheep Ep 4 Reeds Ep 5 Bird Song Bay 'Touched By Nature’ is a continuation of collaborative work with Thora Solveig Bergsteinsdottir and Favela Vera Ortiz. In November 2018 I traveled to Helsinki, Finland to work to create a version of the Iceland footage (23 degrees West) to present as part of the stage work in Favela's theatre dance work ‘Crossing Latitudes’ at Espoo City Theatre, Espoo, Finland. While in Helsinki we filmed new material, at various locations including Sheep Isle and Kalasatama (fish harbor) district including ‘Isoisänsilta' (grandfather's bridge), and public art installation ‘Väre’ by Lighting Design Collective. Thora Solveig Bergsteinsdottir exhibited the work as a five channel installation in Iceland during August 2020. The group exhibition was titled the same name (‘Touched by Nature’). The artist were living and working in remote Northern Iceland, Thora Solveig Bergsteinsdottir, Joris Rademaker and Adalsteinn Thorsson from 1st - 16th August 2020 at Segull 67, Siglufjordur, Iceland. Credits - Choreography/Performance - Thora Solveig Bergsteinsdottir Video - Vanessa White Choreographer/Costume - Favela Vera Ortiz Music Score by Diana Sus Recorded and Mixed by Diana Sus Master - Sigfús Jónson Gong, Drum and Crystal Bowls - Thora Solveig Bergsteinsdottir Voice - Stefán Eli
'Crossing Latitudes' - Dance Performance - Espoo City Theatre, FINLAND - Choreographer: Favela Vera Ortiz
Crossing Latitudes ESPOO CITY THEATER, FINLAND Nov 2018 Dance performance Choreography: Favela Vera Ortiz Dancer: Tanja Illusion Sound: Sergio Castrillón Scenography: Lotta Esko Video: Vanessa White Dancer Video: Thora Solveig Bergsteinsdottir A performance combining projected images with the movement of a dancer on stage. Images modify the human interface, creating a dialogue in which the body becomes an ever-changing scenery. Crossing Latitudes is a part of the Globe Art Point Performance Series at Espoo City Theatre: https://espoonteatteri.fi
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