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<i>I am</i> – an exhibition by Anne Seagrave at the JCC in Krakow (August – September 2011)

<i>I am</i> – an exhibition by Anne Seagrave at the JCC in Krakow (August – September 2011)

<i>I am</i> – an exhibition by Anne Seagrave at the JCC in Krakow (August – September 2011)

<i>I am</i> – an exhibition by Anne Seagrave at the JCC in Krakow (August – September 2011)

<i>I am</i> – an exhibition by Anne Seagrave at the JCC in Krakow (August – September 2011)

<i>I am</i> – an exhibition by Anne Seagrave at the JCC in Krakow (August – September 2011)

<i>I am</i> – an exhibition by Anne Seagrave at the JCC in Krakow (August – September 2011)

<i>I am</i> – an exhibition by Anne Seagrave at the JCC in Krakow (August – September 2011)

I am – an exhibition by Anne Seagrave at the JCC in Krakow (August – September 2011)

Lukasz Guzek, 2011-09-30

“I am” – says Anne Seagrave in the title of her most recent project exhibition. One could say: “I am back”. Anne Seagrave is well known for her actions in the form of dance performance. However, the artist has recently decided to retire from live dance performance. But this does not mean that she has stopped making art. If one has art in their blood, or if one is a true artist – it is impossible to simply stop creating art.

Her latest project shows, her new artistic direction is. She uses her dance performance experience, which for her now becomes the starting point to develop art forms in subsequent stages on which her recent project is based.

The artist often based her earlier dance performances on her biography. In the current project also a certain biographical detail became a starting point. Anne Seagrave has lived for almost two years in Poland, in Krakow (and even speaks Polish quite well). Usually, when we find ourselves in a new environment, we observe it with care and notice interesting details. Walking around a city that was new to her, she observed low sculptural reliefs showing human or animal figures above doorways. First she photographed the sculptural reliefs, and collected them into a database – an archive of images. Then the digitalised images became a starting point for a performance to camera. She created a video work, on which we see the artist naked against a neutral, white background, adopting a series of poses inspired by the reliefs. This is the first series of transmedia transformations, leading from a site-specific location (the architectural decoration), through photography, performance, to video.

However, the artist has developed one more series of transmedia transformations – this time using more traditional media. Digitalised photos of the naked artist were a starting point to make linear drawing compositions. Body images were projected and drawn onto paper, but it was done in such a way, that several drawings became a hybrid of a few images. As a result, the drawings present figures that are often deformed, almost abstract, and sometimes they become decorative patterns consisting of a few multiplied figures.

Next, the drawing on a sheet of paper became a stencil. Technically, the internal plane was masked, and the paper sprinkled with watercolour paint. As a result, on a completed work, we can see a silhouette and the expressive gesture of sprinkling the paper with various watercolours.

A series of 40 aquarelles made this way was presented in Anne Seagrave’s latest exhibition at the JCC in Krakow. In the exhibition, there is a certain trick that deceives the spectator. The paintings are displayed together with a series of 12 photographs of the sculptural reliefs. The watercolours themselves, seen in purely artistic categories seem to be banal. Only a very careful spectator notices the connection between the photographs and the paintings. And only the exhibition’s title “I am” drives our attention beyond the material and beyond the formal aspect of this art. However, after understanding the whole series of transmedia transformations, the shifts of artistic values and the directions in which the narration goes, we are able to understand the project of Anne Seagrave and her new post-performance art.

Moreover, during the exhibition, the artist was adding a further aspect to her project – it was an action within the space of the specific gallery. Drawings – outlines of the silhouettes, were re-created from the stencils and painted directly on the Gallery walls, around windows and doors, where they created decorative borders – frames.

One may say, therefore, that the project has a circular structure. The starting point were sculptural reliefs, that decorate the architecture, in symbolic terms they were known as apotropaions – representations that have the power of averting evil from a certain place. After a series of transmedia transformations they were brought to the walls of the JCC Gallery and placed in similar spots as a decorative form, equipped with the power that the artist has given them as works of art.



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