Iria Arenas – Feb 2022

ON DISPLAY – NPN funded residency

About me

I am a freelance artist working in the field of performance, movement, and visual arts. As a choreographer I like to challenge human perception combining live performance with digital media blurring the line between dance aesthetics and visual art to experiment new ways of narration. Over the last few years, I have been fascinated by how the nude human figure has been a source of discussion, shame, admiration, and controversy in the art of most cultures, and continues to be so today. I am interested in investigating new methods of displaying the human figure in live performance and on screen, reforming and reshaping the body in natural means but unconventional ways.

ON DISPLAY – NPN funded residency

Thanks to LAKE Studios Berlin in the framework of the ON DISPLAY program supported by the NATIONALES PERFORMANCE NETZ – STEPPING OUT, I will be working on the project anverso during the month of February in collaboration with three performers. At the end of this residency, the performance will be professionally documented and filmed by a LAKE Studios team.

anverso rethinks a new way of perceiving the corporeality of the body when being displayed and offers a new perspective on the concepts of nudity and nakedness in performance art in a strongly sexualised Western cultural tradition. In this performance the artists make themselves blank canvases presenting neutral bodies which are stand-ins for any human, blurring the line between fine and performance arts; art work and artist; or between object and subject.

Week 1 – Preparation time

During the first week, COVID-19 was the main protagonist and and as usual, plans started to change between two and four times a day. Some residents had to cancel and postpone their arrival and that made the week rather silent at LAKE studios. Therefore, I decided not to spend too much time planning, but to let my mind flow and take advantage of the quietness and creative inspiration this space offered me.

Week 2 – Rehearsals

In the first week of rehearsals, two of the three performers of the piece had to be quarantined, so the first rehearsals took place with only one performer in the studio. The rehearsals were a hybrid between online and studio sessions, in which we put into practice the new ideas and possible ways of communicating the concept of the piece through the camera.

Week 3 – Rehearsals & Shooting

We finally managed to get everyone together in the studio on Monday. Without much time for dialogue, we immediately started assembling the piece with the ideas and material discussed the week before. In three days we managed to build something quite captivating to be recorded.

Week 4 – Editing

Thanks to the good mentoring and technical facilities at LAKE studios, I had the opportunity to learn how to do video editing, colour grading and post-production in a professional way. When you have these opportunities, along with the time and space to be able to put the acquired knowledge into practice, the result is usually quite rewarding.

et voilà