A pointing finger suspended from the ceiling in a metal frame beckons me in as if to suggest ‘this way please’. I stop at the top of the stairs to admire the gesture, but am distracted by a performance at the bottom of the stairs, just beyond a long hanging pendulum. Ignoring the finger I sit on the stairs with others. I watch for a while. I watch others watching too. Familiar Roehampton dance faces pass through the space. Warm hellos embrace. We continue to watch.  Another performance begins. It appears to be a mapping or measuring of the space by two people in white canvas pumps. It’s methodical. A device I’ve never seen before is unwound as one person pulls a string from its bobbin. 


Placed on the floor, the string is pinged and a fluorescent pink line is chalked on the grey surface, followed by a puff of pink smoke. I’m distracted by the mess it’s making on their white shoes. 


As I journey away from the stairs into the mapped out curve I see 2 sets of headphones. I’m too short for one pair. I just about fit the others. I place my feet in the shoe shaped markers provided. I’m listening to one half of a conversation. I find myself making up the bits I can’t hear. Then a man puts on the headphones opposite. That changes the missing dialogue. The mapping has continued round the curve but there is less of a pink puff on the ping now. 

I’ve come to see Efrosini Protopapa’s work. I helped in a small way to photograph collections of images at the Warburg Institute for her research.  So I’m interested to see what she has selected to include, and how the images are used. Torsos have been cut out & pasted in opposition to other torsos, creating unlikely dialogues that appear and disappear on a projection. A little bit like the headphones, I find myself thinking of captions for these brief, unlikely pairings. The images dance on and off the screen.  A simple entrance and exit. It’s a dance of many halves. 


Other work captures my attention as I take a couple more laps of the curve. When leaving, I notice the hanging pendulum has been secured to the wall. 

MATERIAL / REARRANGED / TO / BE: BARBICAN 

20–28 JAN 2017

http://www.siobhandavies.com/whats-on/performance/siobhan-davies-dance-new-work-premiere-material/