THE BODY AS TOOL
Videos and Performances by Laetitia Hohenberg (Paris, France & Memphis, Tennessee) with introduction by Lynne Sachs
Charles S. Cohen Screening Room
475 Park Avenue South, 6th floor (at 32nd Street)
Suggested Donation: $10
RSVP: write to firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your spot!
Deeply informed by breakthroughs in feminism, Laetitia Hohenberg has been painting since childhood. Three years ago, she returned to dance, after a 25-year hiatus, and simultaneously took the deep dive into the moving image, creating sumptuous yet austere one-woman video pieces that encourage viewers to think in new and astonishing ways about the body in motion. Performance, dance, photography, painting, sculpture, film, and sound are among the different mediums used by Hohenberg to question and explore the female condition. Sexuality, absence, tender madness, abandonment, seduction, solitude, and maternity are themes she visits with ambivalence, humor, and rhythm -- all in a perpetual motion. Hohenberg grew up in Memphis, Tennessee, spending formative time with her cousin, NYC filmmaker Lynne Sachs who will be our host this evening. For the last 30 years, she has lived in Paris where she raised her four sons and made her art. The Filmmakers Cooperative is thrilled to welcome Laetitia to New York City for the US Premiere of these works.
«In the videos, I film myself as a tableau. I center the camera on a tripod and move within the fixed frame as a flat plane. It is a documentation of captured moments. I am alone using my body as a tool. I move, dance, use precise hand gestures in the same way that I paint or sculpt. I roll my hips, take steps, stand up, crouch down close to the ground. I connect to what I am at the moment and visit memories of holding a child on my hip, feeding it, chasing demons, evoking well - being, caressing, soothing, being present with another, or standing in the current of a river allowing phenomena to rush past me. I am the mother, I am the lover, I am the woman, I am the artist. I am each, I am none, I am.»
- Laetitia Hohenberg
Laetitia will begin the evening with a dance/chant inspired by the way that cheerleaders from Memphis’s Bellevue Junior High School introduce themselves. Bellevue was the place where Laetitia first learned to dance.
GO ON OFF TO SCHOOL, 2016, 2:21
An experience of the mother managing her children day after day. She feeds them, sends them off to school, puts them to bed, and deals with the exterior demands of daily life while at the same time attempts to play with the absurd routine of which she is captive.
HALLELUJAH, 2018, 0:49.
A celebration of the power of the pelvis from a woman's point of view, how she owns it and how she shares it. There is an ambivalence between the woman offering herself of her own accord or out of obligation as is expected of women.
MOTHER FUCKER, 2016, 0:40
A shadow dance using hands, arms, bird songs and dialogue to present rage and passion about the rupture of a love affair.
Laetitia will play sounds of cicadas and train whistles and chant.
SUGAR, BABY- MEMPHIS, 2016, 3:54
The sound track in SUGAR, BABY was recorded in Memphis, with the nocturnal buzzing of cicadas, and the constant whistle-blowing of the trains. The vernacular is specifically Southern, using words of endearment my grandmother would say to me. Said differently, these are words of seduction. This version of SUGAR, BABY was the product of a spontaneous collaboration during an evening of spoken word and musical improvisation.
L’HEURE BLEUE, 2018, 6:25
A series of dance movements about a realm of possibility with an imagined partner. It is a pure expression of tenderness, a dialogue exploring what it means to have no codes, no barriers, no expectations. The title L’HEURE BLEUE refers to the moment when night birds join in song with morning ones. This lasts minutes before life takes its «normal» course. It is an Absolute of the instant as opposed to the limit of time, a suspended moment, one of wide open possibility.
Selected list of exhibitions and performances:
A.I.R. Gallery in New York City; The New York Studio School Gallery; Delta Axis Arts Center in Memphis, Tennessee; Musée Français de la Carte à Jouer, France; Institute du Monde Arabe, Paris, France; and local Memphis performance spaces.