For this new iteration of ‘Aggregate’, Alexandra Pirici brings together over 60 performers that form a vast collective body through the accumulation of individual gestures, enveloping the viewers in intricate choreographies and rehearsed compositions. Enacting gestures and sounds taken from nature and from disparate popular sources in an attempt to render different forms of heritage and cultural memory, Pirici conceived ‘Aggregate’ as a time capsule in which fragments from vernacular culture, art history and everyday life are given new living embodiments.
As viewers walk around this performative landscape, the dancers and enactors mix seamlessly with the audience. While following a defined, algorithmic framework, the dancers choose improptu how they combine individual elements from a large selection of choreographic materials, including excerpts from pop songs such as Depeche Mode’s ‘Enjoy the Silence’ (1990), staged movements that evoke art historical masterpieces suchas Michelangelo’s ‘David’ (c.1504) or Wifredo Lam’s ‘Lisa Mona’ (1950), popular references to Bollywood movies, as well as hand signals from the Occupy movement. The choreography is further punctuated by recitations of poetry excerpts from Forough Farrokhzad, Gil Scott-Heron and Simone Yoyotte, and Romanian folk music by MariaTănase.
By identifying and highlighting fragments of a collective consciousness, ‘Aggregate’invites the viewers to reflect on how identities are constructed and performed, and how collectivity is built through the selective recollection, multiplication and hybridization of knowledge and information. Thus, Pirici urges to confront commonalities and envision society itself as a subjective, living body of shared memories and behaviors.
The new edition of ‘Aggregate’ at Art Basel 2019 is staged in a newly designed temporary pavilion sited on Messeplatz, conceived and designed by Andrei Dinu, a frequent collaborator of Pirici’s. Inspired by American architect Buckminster Fuller’s geodesic domes and by medical isolation spaces, the temporary pavilion is constructed as an air- supported structure, whose shape is defined by soft, organic lines that contrast with the geometric, grid-like environment of Messeplatz. The flexible and translucent surface of the pavilion acts as a protective membrane or shell that pulsates with the energy of the performers and the surrounding spaces.
‘Aggregate’ was first presented at the Neuer Berliner Kunstverein in 2017 and was then featured in the first edition of Art Basel Cities week in Buenos Aires in September 2018 as part of ‚Hopscotch (Rayuela)‘, also curated by Cecilia Alemani.