Mirror Me

MIC Toi Rerehiko Gallery, 321 K Rd, Auckland

28/03/2008 - 03/05/2008

Production Details

Mirror Me is an interactive work by New Zealand Arts Foundation Laureate filmmaker and award winning choreographer Shona McCullagh. The work has been created in collaboration with multimedia artist Michael Hodgson (from electronic dub band Pitch Black) and composer John Gibson.

McCullagh’s CNZ Choreographic Fellowship allowed her to join forces with Hodgson to explore interactive software and its relationship with the moving body. A collection of scenes were created which culminated in a series of installations that the artists now improvise with. Passionate about the body’s ability to communicate in ways words cannot, McCullagh’s shift towards moving installations provides an opportunity for the audience to become the work itself. Michael Hodgson and John Gibson provide the intriguing soundscape to the work, which audiences will move to and be moved by.

This installation will be housed in Gallery One at MIC Toi Rerehiko, it will be a site-specific space for the audience to play in. McCullagh and Hodgson have developed four installations on the theme of the self being welcomed and translated into an ever-changing new art work. The screens are only activated by human presence. Without the audience, this art barely exists – they act as a vital trigger for the screen based works which offer a relationship with the viewer: a mirror, of sorts.

Mirror Me also premieres the launch of the first of McCullagh’s limited edition interactive art works and screenings of her latest short film, Mondo Nuovo.

cost: Free 

Fri 28 Mar 08 – Sat 03 May 08, on Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri, 10:00am – 6:00pm
Fri 28 Mar 08 – Sat 03 May 08, on Sat, 11:00am – 4:00pm

MIC Toi Rerehiko Gallery, 321 Karangahape Rd, Auckland City

Auckland, New Zealand 

Dancers: Sean MacDonald, Lina Limosani, Will Barling

An inimitable introspection

Review by 12th May 2008

Mirror Me worked. A provocative collaboration between choreographer Shona McCullagh, multimedia artist Michael Hodgson, composer John Gibson, dancers Sean MacDonald, Lina Limosani, Will Barling and the audience.

A Saturday rainy windswept afternoon in the city – best place almost, is to be in a gallery, pondering. McCullagh’s work, as with many of the top end New Zealand dance artists, is rarely seen in this country: takes a festival usually, to get yet another sneak view of her rather beautiful film work.

This latest dance event is a complex multi techno example of the finesse she has developed in choreography.  Evocative and thoughtful, the drama speaks a sort of internal narrative.  Mirror Me blends technological possibility with an emotive kin-aesthetic.

In the first place, I had a profound and precious moment of witnessing a dance performance completely by myself. Alone in a theatre! I chose to watch the film three times on the couch – not to see its technical cleverness but to let my mind absorb the dancer-ness in the moments.

Dancers (McDonald, Limosani and Barling) blended together as bit part bodies made beautiful by symmetry, less so by their facelessness. A reverie of Indian eight limbed ladies (a first attempt at motion capture perhaps) informed the progression I made through the work. The colours just right with the movement textures.  The soundscape in this case less centralised, more an undulating texture.

The other two rooms I ventured into made me participate with the movement – evoked movement from my body. Responsive to technology – a camera and the Isadora programme, dim lit – I could have been audience or performer. A fine light rim of me moved after I had. There is so much power and generosity in this kind of work.

McCullagh’s like a child sharing her toys. Although she is much missed in the bigger live theatres, perhaps her audience needs to follow her more closely to inhabit her dance art as it is "being" released. This dance work adventures far beyond technical efficiency or even dance as vocabulary and lends us her intriguing way of looking at the world as an artist – prismatic, pleasured and as always, an inimitable introspection. 


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