Choreographer Erin Ellen Kelly and artist Mariam Ghani have collaborated since 2006 to produce videos and multimedia performances that explore the resonances of both natural and constructed landscapes, with a focus on places where that distinction becomes blurred. This collaboration borrows equally from site-specific performance in dance, site-responsive practices in sound and visual art, “city symphonies” and other studies of place in film and video, and the contextual school of landscape archaeology, which approaches landscapes through a matrix of phenomenology, history and contemporary context. Their past projects include the videos Fugitive Refrains (Stuttgart 06, exhibited Schloss Solitude 07), Three Surrenders (NYC 07, Beijing 798 Biennial 09), and Smile, you’re in Sharjah (Sharjah Biennial 9 commission) and the multimedia performances Variations (ArteEast commission, Queens Museum 09) and Landscape Studies: New Mexico (in progress). They had a joint exhibition at Momenta Art in NYC in February 2010.
Kelly and Ghani will be working to finish Landscape Studies: New Mexico and beginning a new video, Landscape Studies: Governors Island, which will explore past and present narratives of Governors Island as constructed landscape by filming performances in various sites on the island.
Image: Mariam Ghani & Erin Ellen Kelly, still from Landscape Studies: New Mexico (Weigh Station, Route 66), 2008, dimensions variable.
Image credit: courtesy of the artist