The Awakening: A (re)Performance

 

The Awakening: A (re)Performance is a twelve hour durational flagging dance, documented with a single video camera and recorded for playback within the gallery.

This ongoing project looks to the musical period between 1980 to 2000 as a source of material to begin an exploration into the importance of the dance floor during the AIDS crisis.

The Awakening: A (re)Performance seeks to understand the role that music played during the AIDS crisis as a way to build, amongst other things, a community of support for those affected by the crisis.

The work itself is broken up into four side-by-side vertical video screens, each playing a three hour loop of the original performance. These loops represent a different phase of the evening, from the early evening warm-up set, to the peak-hours high energy sound that would truly set the night into motion. Eventually, following a period of musical “darkness” the dance floor would traditionally be brought into light during the last hours of the party often referred to as the morning, or “awakening”, period.

This moment of acoustic clarity would mark a dramatic shift in the music that had been played for the previous hours and would, in essence, function as a moment of rebirth for the dance floor.

The music used within the course of the performance was collected by posting a series of open calls and direct requests. These open calls were posted on forums, mailing lists, social media sites as well as public and private online groups. Those who proposed the music that forms the mix used during the performance include DJs, promoters, producers and those who filled the dance floor during this time. They recommended the music that for them specifically, embodies that time, the music that holds the most importance to them, and those songs that became emblematic of their journey through this period in history.

This work will be shown for the first time beginning on March 20th at the Emily Davis Gallery, at the University of Akron. For more information about the show, visit the following address.

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