Amrita Hepi’s video installation “The Pace” at the Paddington gallery Cement Fondu showcases the human body in its inspirational gift to move, play and dance. This video installation cheekily, metaphorically says “break out of any customary ruts into insouciant and authentic embodiment of skipping through your life.” Pick up the skipping rope of your creativity and have some fun at the expense of staid and stuck-up conformity.
“Funk Lessons”, the now classic 1983 video by artist Adrian Piper, screening in parallel with the Amrita Hepi video at the same show, is all about dropping any notion of iconography and joyously diving into your own body’s lust to move. Forget about performing and just be your quirky freedom in motion, no matter what the doyens of dance may try to tell you. Pick-up some rudimentary tips from Piper’s suggestions about how to get going and join the happy community of blissful movers. Far from blissing out, here its all about the bliss of feeling present, grounded and free. Oh, and you can’t do it wrong because here no one cares to compare you to anyone else, so long as you are true to yourself and also stay connected in the field of shared awareness with your funky cohorts.
The feature I love about Piper’s work is that she gives you permission to put on some head phones, kindly provided in the gallery, and move to your heart’s content. What is more subversive than expressing your own dance? That’s the theme of Piper’s other two videos, “Adrian Moves to Berlin” (2007) and “Please God” (1991) that form part of this show. Step out of the social straitjacket of expectations and hierarchy, ditch the well-groomed structures of estrangement and desperation, and dance.
Also featured in this show are the exquisite artefacts of the Yirran Miigaydhu weavers. These beautiful works incarnate the artists’ circle as a meeting place to share culture and stories. Delicate, handsome and vibrant.
Amrita Hepi, Adrian Piper and the Yirran Miigaydhu weavers are at Cement Fondu, 39 Gosbell St Paddington, until 24 February 2019.