Keira Greene

Research project: Attending to the physical body as material, a discourse on corporeal representation through the interdisciplinary field of dance. How can a somatic inquiry produce new images?

Abstract

In the global event of rapacious consumption, it is evidently unethical, as an artist, to work with toxic material or dwindling natural resources. In this climate, working with the physical body as material can be considered an ecological and political act. My practice-based research focuses on the body as a site of investigation within the cross-disciplinary field of contemporary art and dance. I will trace the canon of women–artist–dancers that used dance to construct meaning and challenge dominant representations of the body. Through a primarily feminist discourse, the body engaging with dance will be analysed as a body that performs the defining ideas of the time. I will argue that the physical body negotiates and reflects the ideologies in which it is situated and therefore can motivate alternate translations of representation. As a filmmaker I look to the context of dance as a generative site of contestation. I will focus on somatic practices, movement practices that involve a dual observation by the dancer; they are simultaneously aware of their gesture and the feeling of that gesture. The term somatic, from the word Soma, is the body as perceived from within. I will approach this interior territory to critically dispute the language of the sensing physical body. I will explore movement practice that turns the sensing body inside out to perform aesthetics of feeling and in turn perform political agency. Through this research period I will return to the self-organised dance institutions of Yvonne Rainer, Noa Eshkol and Anna Halprin. I will trace the lines of connection between these women; how they confronted language with bodies, evolving alternate subjectivities through live performance and written score.

  • Research degree: Practice-based PhD
  • Title of project: Attending to the physical body as material, a discourse on corporeal representation through the interdisciplinary field of dance. How can a somatic inquiry produce new images?

Biography

I work across moving image and performance. My practice questions embodied research as a methodology, often explored through the moving body and writing, often becoming a film.

I am concerned with deconstructing language and the translation of text and image as scores; I work closely with dance and dancers to develop my research.

I have exhibited and screened my work widely with recent exhibitions and screenings including Cubitt, Jerwood Space, Whitechapel Gallery, Tate, The Commons Bolinas CA. I regularly collaborate as and with the collective Co—.

I am performance curator for Whitstable Biennale and a founding trustee of the Stuart Croft Foundation.

Areas of research interest

  • The cross-disciplinary field of contemporary art and dance

Qualifications

  • BA Fine Art, Chelsea College of Art
  • MA Moving Image, RCA

Funding or awards received

  • TECHNE PhD scholarship (2018-2021)