ST. DAVID’S CHURCH // Samantha Lee: Showgirl, 2019
At the turn of the nineteenth century, Loïe Fuller’s hypnotic ‘Serpentine Dance’ radically reconfigured the female body as a site of transformation, deferring fixed representations against the backdrop of eroticized stage spectacle. Inspired by the contemporaneity of her work, this video plays with ideas of metamorphosis and persona through the appearance and disappearance of human form into raw energy and visual effect. Drapery acts as bodily prosthesis through the use of everyday expressive materials, brought to life by an invisible corporeal movement and projected light. The veiled female body in motion plays an emblematic and enigmatic character, in a performance ritual of becoming metaphor.
Samantha Lee is a Canadian born South Korean artist based in London. She holds an architecture degree from the Architectural Association. Since 2013 she has been running Universal Assembly Unit, a collaborative studio working across art direction, immersive and interactive design. The studio has been commissioned to create installations for performance, exhibition, and outdoor festival venues across the UK and Europe. These include the Roundhouse, Barbican Centre, Southbank Centre, Sonar+D Barcelona, London Design Festival, AND Festival and Fotodok Utrecht. They recently completed a public commission from Croydon Council for an interactive light installation as part of an urban strategy along the High Street. The practice is currently developing a responsive visual installation for a concert at the Queen Elizabeth Hall as part of the Bridget Riley retrospective, which will take the audience through a therapeutic chromotherapy journey. This project is part of ongoing research in collaboration with the London Contemporary Orchestra, developing adaptive environments and the potential of immersive media as cognitive tools to influence mood through sound and visuals.
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