SERAFINE1369: Azimuth Zenith Nadir

Bergen Kunsthall, Bergen, Norway
20 Aug 2023 - 27 Aug 2023

IV by SERAFINE1369. Commissioned by The Yard, 2023. Courtesy Bergen Kunsthall

IV by SERAFINE1369. Commissioned by The Yard, 2023. Courtesy Bergen Kunsthall

Bergen Kunsthall presents a large-scale live project by artist SERAFINE1369, formerly known as Last Yearz Interesting Negro (2015–2020). Their methodology is intuitive and many-headed, embracing multiplicity and considering the interrelatedness of myriad systems. Through the synthesis of their research into the embodied situation, forms and poetics emerge and organically extend into text, video, installation, sound and performance. For SERAFINE1369, working with bodies is working with vibration – sound, light, frequency, relationship. Their performances are containers, frames or machines, that conjure many voices through the interplay between dancing, sound, objects, words and light. These lines of tension create a sense of expansion, dimension, dissonance and resonance.

Azimuth Zenith Nadir is a show of elements that comprise constellations, moving in relation to create a system, a kind of weather. The work offers a space to be sensed and experienced, to be immersed in; stillness, the counting of time, a body of water, a breaking storm and the rhythm of the planets in the solar system as we orbit the sun and respond to the moon, are the basis for the building of this world. It won’t simply engulf you, but it will meet you if you move towards it.

Azimuth Zenith Nadir proposes a liveness conjured by automation sequencing and interrelation, along with the occasional presence of performance. It is a hybrid installation format stemming from their work across automated multimedia installation and their deep-rooted research into embodied performance and dancing. It proposes that live work does not require the presence
of live performers, only a sense of movement and systemic entanglement. At shifting times each day the alchemical practice of dancing is brought into the mix.

The choreography is a system of movement and stillness, a meditative (de-)composition that involves the performers tuning into the minutiae of their sensing capacities. Bodies contain universes, objects are charged with memory and experience and nothing ever really goes away. The dancing is a kind of ghost work, a work of cycles and fragmentary returns. Noticing what is already t/here and letting this move through their bodies, this kind of focus speaks to meditative, devotional and transcendent practices.

The soundscore introduces counting time as a strategy for loosening and breaking time and therefore breaking a linear system of control.

SERAFINE1369’s interest in working with time-based scores as a choreographic tool stems from questions around – and the desire to acknowledge and challenge – those invisible systems and structures that choreograph bodies in life.
The work visibly develops SERAFINE1369’s ongoing research into non-linear time, unsettling internalised hierarchies and oracular practice, reworking and reincorporating fragments of music, video and sculpture from previous works. This is a cumulative, cyclical research that sees references to the artist’s archive appear in different ways as a strategy for embodying the concepts and ethics that they work with.

The project is curated by Nora-Swantje Almes.




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