Xavier Cha: Body Drama


. (yelling) Oh god. (yelling) (heavy breathing) My name is Diana Kamin and I’m the curator of “Xavier Cha: Body Drama.” Viewers who enter “Body Drama” encounter either the live performance or a projected video. During the periods of live performance, an actor is moving through the space wearing an unusual body-mounted camera that extends outwards from their bodies and keeps the camera trained on their face. The actor will be moving through the space, expressing a sense of terror, alienation, and the feeling of being deeply disturbed by their surroundings. In between the performances, video from previous performances is projected onto this wall behind me. The experience of body drama is necessarily divided by time. Viewers can only ever see the live performance, or the projected video. Xavier is interested in the fact that when you’re watching the actor, you’re forced to imagine what the camera is seeing. But you can’t see it until later on. And when you’re watching the video, you’re forced to imagine the actor moving through the space, but you’re not able to actually see them move through the space. So at any given time, what you’re seeing is referring you to something else. What she said is that the resulting experience is a sense of mysterious lack, because the referent is always misplaced or elsewhere. Xavier has connected this lack to contemporary life, and the sense that we may have as individuals that– with ever-expanding viewpoints into other people’s lives, into social media and various devices that we carry around– that with these increasing options for experience, we’re losing a sense of center, because there’s always some vantage point that you’re unable to access. .

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