Artist Brendan Fernandes Explores Dance In ‘Encomium’

By Rana Good

The audience can take away the need for love as a universal question and desire from the performance.

Artist and Société Perrier luminary Brendan Fernandes‘ most recent exhibition, “Encomium,” reflects on his past background in dance, using classical ballet as a means to explore understanding and communication within groups.

The performance draws inspiration from Plato’s Symposium, in which love is explored through Encomium, or speeches of praise. Two men perform in a designated space, moving their bodies in a way described in the narrative text. The endurance pieces use prowess and physicality as a metaphor for love.

“They perform until their bodies fatigue and as they repeat the performance, they grow more and more tired,” says Fernandes (pictured below).

The words love, eros, and desire are translated into Morse code and mark the floor of the gallery creating choreographic patterns in another nod to non-textual language.

“The audience can take away the need for love as a universal question and desire from the performance,” says Fernandes.

The first set of performances took place during the opening reception. The remnants thereafter are shown through video documentation in the space and by written instructions on posters. The text allows viewers to perform the movements described but leaves room for interpretation and reconsideration.

To see the performance live head to Diaz Contemporary when the show closes on January 7.

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