“I didn’t start off with thinking that it was going to be a female lead project. It veered towards being a female lead piece and I got really excited about that. There is a song that my daughter used to play a lot by the Kooks called “She moves in her own way.”

Sonia Boyce’s We move in her way…

Sonia Boyce’s We move in her way, currently showing at the Institute of Contemporary Arts explores questions around power and play between audience and performer within a live improvisation, then uses the documentation to create a multimedia installation.

We move in her way involves the exploratory vocal and movement performances of Elaine Mitchener, Barbara Gamper and her dancers : Eve Stainton, Ria Uttridge and Be van Vark, with an invited audience. The title of the work suggests two possible readings: that ‘she’ dictates our movements; or that we obstruct ‘hers’, with both interpretations suggesting power is at play.

Boyce has a participatory art practice where she invites others to engage performatively with improvisation. In this process, she encourages contributors to exercise their own responses to the situations she enables, where she steps back from any directorial position to observe the activities and dynamics of exchange as they unfold.

Once the performance is played out and documented, Boyce reshapes the material generated, in what she calls “recouping the remains”, to create the artwork as a multimedia installation.

We move in her way was created in this way as a performative laboratory, in which the audience and performers negotiated the ICA Theatre space around sculptural objects and their own bodies. Play and playfulness unfolded during the open-ended live performance, sparking a breakdown of assumed order between performers and audience. The dynamics of power-play shifts between the masked audience, the performers and the sculptural objects created as a means to facilitate touch and being together, whilst remaining distinct.

After Nyne met the artist to delve into this fascinating new work, and find out how performance informs her artistic practice.

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