Signs of a nest is an exhibition diluting the boundaries between outdoor public space and indoors intimacy. Cristal clear wide windows allow this durational performance experience to endure as public art, even though it lives inside the gallery space.
Looking into the homes and public spaces in Singapore from the inquisitive lens of Susan Sentler the artist and choreographer.
Signs of a nest leaves in the domain of the visual arts, but it’s alive through human perception and interaction from a dancer with an iPad displaying images scattered around the gallery. These, turn out to represent instructions for the performer, taking a ritualistic but clean and diligent sequence of movement. The iPad is positioned in the dancer’s hands in front of the face until it’s carefully placed on the floor, slightly away from the point where the dancer nests.
Valerie Lim curls into a fetal position, leaving an invisible trace on the floor making me feel mindful of my body. Leading me to a point where I tightened my arms around my waist and shoulders to comfort myself in this exhibition space. I found myself thinking about my mother’s womb – challenging inwards looking in the public space but in the context of an art gallery.
What is mesmerising in this exhibition and performance is the level of detail that is brought by human touch, specifically Sentler’s direction to the dancer. Valerie Lim’s metatarsal is flexed on a 90-degree angle resting on the floor in an embodied, peaceful state of consciousness as she contemplates the digital images to produce a performative presence wider than the room itself, moving slowly to the last nesting position.
Susan Sentler lends a choreographic hand to the gallery space creating a pleasurable location to be in, not for the short experience, but for the long term instead, like architecture brings comfort to those that pay attention to detail and live in the public domain.
Signs of a Nest is a poetically choreographed experience.
The absence of words lets the audience take a privilege position in the art gallery admiring the hundreds of photographs displayed on the walls and floor. Sometimes becoming an integral part of the work observing the public outside staring into the gallery in awe and reverence.
At LASALLE College of the Arts 4th and 5th of May.