Amalie Smith exhibition ΜΗΧΑΝΙΚΟΣ
ALMA Gallery and Riga Photography Biennial present a solo exhibition of work by Danish artist and writer Amalie Smith.
The large double screen video installation ΜΗΧΑΝΙΚΟΣ takes its title from an odd Greek folk dance from the island of Kalymnos. The name means “mechanical”, and the dance is also known as “The Sponge Diver Dance”. One of the video screens shows a dancer in a white space wearing a motion capture suit performing her interpretation of the dance. On the other screen, the movements of the dancer are mirrored by an animated digital figure of a diver in a diving suit, who convulsively struggles while trying to move his body on a digital seabed.
Amalie Smith has used motion-capture technology to track the movements of the dancer with sensors, and then transformed the data into the digital image of a sponge diver. With her video installation the artist explores the relationship between the human body and the spaces created by digital technologies.
In the work of Amalie Smith the body becomes image, and the images come to life. This is a recurring subject in her work. Images are ambiguous – they are at once material and incorporeal they exist both as, and in between, material objects, as well as in the mind, and they live in, transform and are generated by media. Therefore, the human body is also a medium for images as well as a potential image itself. The artist is thus interested in the evolution of images, their nature, meaning and our perception of them, as well as in images across different media. She works in a wide range of different media including text, photography, video digital media and installations and objects.
According to Smith “I have always been interested in what happens in between the different media – how they supplement or oppose each other. When I was studying at the Danish Academy of Creative Writing, I was working with film parallel to writing, and later on when I was studying at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, I was writing in addition to working in visual art. We live in a trans-media world, therefore I find it beneficial to make use of multiple media and approaches when working with a certain subject – this opens it up, and makes it possible to encompass additional facets.”
Curator: Lizete Riņķe (Latvia)
Organizer: Riga Photography Biennial in cooperation with ALMA Gallery
Image: Amalie Smith (Denmark), still from ΜΗΧΑΝΙΚΟΣ