Andréhn-Schiptjenko is proud to present Cecilia Bengolea’s first solo exhibition in Scandinavia. Bengolea, born 1979 in Argentina, is a multidisciplinary artist using dance as a tool and a medium for radical empathy and emotional exchange. Through collaboration with others—artists, performers, deejays and dancers—Bengolea develops a broad artistry where she sees movement, dance and performance as animated sculpture, where she herself is both object and subject in her own work.
Dance may be one of our most advanced forms of bodily expression. Unlike sport or other related forms of physical communication, dance demands that we consider the figure as pure medium devoid of functionality. Adaptive physical intelligence may well be the indirect quest of most dance but, for Cecilia Bengolea, it is the basis of a practice that has been centred around the creation of new bodies of thought. The other mind that is the focus of her attention is less about what Deleuze & Guattari would term the body without organs, than a body without boundaries, a fully eroticized being born of a state of constant rehearsal. The spirit and rhythms that infuse this body move in several directions at once. Often they are found played out in transient or boundaries places such as the side of the road where passing cars choreograph another kind of risk. Sweat and tropical rain further dissolve the boundaries between inside and outside, reminding us perhaps that inner body fluid is an electrical conductor that functions for the body in ways similar to the synapses of the brain—creating new pathways and communication highways redefining sentience.
The exhibition consists of two video works—Bestiaire and Danse au fond de la Mer—as well as sculptures and lenticular prints, best described as two-dimensional 3D images in constant motion. In Bestiaire, Bengolea has scanned her body in her favourite dance positions while morphing into a bestiary of imaginary three-dimensional video animations. Danse au fond de la Mer re-enacts dances by François Malkovsky, a disciple of Isadora Duncan. His short choreographies animate the elements and movements of life in the seas and in the film we see Bengolea's re-enactment of his repertory with dancers in Vienna in 2012. Later, in 2019, Bengolea made a video collage bringing deep-sea life footage to accompany the dance performance. The pulsating movements of the deep-sea creatures are superimposed on the footage of the dancers, creating a filmic collage. The very same deep-sea creatures have also been models for the exhibition's clay sculptures. The colourful lenticular prints, collages made from photos from performances, films and other collaborations, create movement in themselves as the image is constantly changing depending on the position of the viewer.
Bengolea's work has been shown at the Gwangju Biennial (2014), Biennale de Lyon (2015), The Tanks and Tate Modern (2015), Faena Arts Center, Buenos Aires (2015 and 2017) ICA, London (2015), Biennale de Sao Paulo (2016), The Infinite Mix, Hayward Gallery London (2016), Center Pompidou (2010 and 2016), Elevation 1049, Gstaad (2017), Dia Art Foundation (2017), Palais de Tokyo (2015 and 2018), ICA London (2015), Dhaka Art Summit (2018), TBA21, Venice (2018), Desertx (2019), Sferik Tulum (2019), Performa NY (2019) and Fondation Giacometti (2019), Tank Shanghai (2020).
Bengolea has collaborated with dancehall artists such as Craig Black Eagle, Bombom DHQ, Damion BG, and with artists Dominique Gonzalez Forster and Jeremy Deller. Her collaborative work with French choreographer François Chaignaud, Pâquerette (2005–2008) and Sylphides (2009), have earned several awards such as the Award de la Critique de Paris in 2010 and the Young Artist Prize at the Gwangju Biennial in 2014. They have also have co-created dance pieces for their dance company as well as for the Ballet de Lyon (2013), the Ballet de Lorraine (2014) and Pina Bausch Tanztheater Wuppertal (2015).
Press release courtesy Andréhn-Schiptjenko.