LUMIERE LONDON 2016
How do you recognise the human body?
This video installation on the former Grade II listed German Gymnasium was inspired by the work of psychophysicist Gunnar Johansson. In the 1970s, Johansson became interested in how the mind can perceive the human body in motion based on minimal stimuli. Working with actors dressed in black in a dark space with lamps on their joints, he reduced the body to 13 moving points on the head, shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips, knees and ankles. When still, the patterns were almost abstract, but once the actors began to move, they could be perceived remarkably clearly. Test subjects could immediately understand the nature of their actions (swimming, dancing, walking, running) and were even able to guess whether they were young or old, light or heavy, male or female.
In response to this work, artists Anne Cleary and Denis Connolly took these principles and applied them in workshops filming children from local schools. In the projection, it was possible to make out the shapes made by the dots.
Cleary Connolly’s installation Change Your Stripes was part of Lumiere Derry-Londonderry 2013 and Lumiere Durham 2015.