Artistic statement: Given the dominant ideology of our times, neoliberalism, I’m interested in addressing notions of individual freedom, democratic artistic space and the lineage of revolutionary trailblazers such as Isadora Duncan. I’m using the work of Isadora as an artistic score–looking at her contributions to art, her influence on other artists of the time, and her radical, intellectual and political qualities. I am really trying to honour her ideology and working method while generating something suited to a contemporary context in my own artistic voice. Although representation and illustration has its place within Duncan, in her spirit I have taken a lot of liberty.
Description: Duncan is a series of works by Australian-born, Berlin-based artist Chris Scherer that investigates the embodiment of liberty in the 21st century through the lens of iconic dancer, teacher, activist and revolutionary figure Isadora Duncan. Duncan currently consists of seven works that challenge the role of the visitor by drawing attention to their body within an artistic institution. The work shifts the way a visitor typically consumes an artwork by highlighting a situation where a visitor is needed for an artwork to exist. Behaviours and codes that are inscribed in the gallery space become reevaluated through this expanded choreographic practice.
These works have been conceived through the ideology of Isadora Duncan and reimagined by Scherer to present a contemporary discourse surrounding liberty. By using Duncan’s artistic and political parameters, a sense of portraiture is created that sits within a new frame to form a conversation between the past and present. Each work points to a specific situation and is marked with a gallery label. The label lists the artist, title, materials, and any other necessary information required to fit within the language and format of the specific gallery. With the use of such labels the work becomes apparent.
For instance, this was a label from when Duncan was displayed at the Art Gallery of South Australia:
The title relates to the visitor’s experience of freedom by marking a poetic situation or provocation, while the materials describe what we physically see within this situation. By altering the relationship to object, subject, material and context, the work dances around ideas of personal and collective freedom in a gesture of now-ness.