The catalogue of Free Gestures exhibition realised during the residency of a Canadian dancer, performer and choreographer of Polish origin, Ula Sickle, at Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art.
Free Gestures is a choreographic exhibition by Ula Sickle, activated by a group of dancers for five hours each day from March 2 to 25, 2018. It is an encounter between choreography, literature, and the format of an exhibition. The starting point is the question of how ideologies become incorporated into our bodies and language. Here, it is not the performers’ bodies or objects that are the works of art, but rather performed texts, gestures, and movement.
The publication collects literary texts performed by dancers (In Love With the Movement of the World by Jacob Wren, Seen and Heard in China by Mi You, Save All by Natalia Fiedorczuk-Cieślak, Nothing Left Undone by Anna Zett and Punjab by Amandeep Sandhu) and theoretical essays (Sample by Daniel Blanga Gubbay, Everyday Catastrophe of Gestures by Agnieszka Sosnowska, “Manic depression is searching my soul.” On Neoliberalism’s Dominant Structure of Feeling by Rudi Laermans).
The book was created in parallel with the exhibition and in a subjective way shows work to which the viewer usually has no access—weeks of rehearsals with performers or changes in the gallery space. The visual material consists of photos taken by the artist while working on the project.
„I wanted this book to function as a working document; a trace of all the efforts that have gone into the making of the exhibition, Free Gestures, with the hope that such a working document will be valuable for those that are curious enough to read further about what they have witnessed, but also equally interesting for those who were not there to see the finished result. Printing anything in these times of overproduction feels like it needs to be accompanied by such a gesture, a gesture of making visible not only the strengths, but also the vulnerabilities, the thinking processes, and the labor that give substance to form, with the hope that this material will be useful or relevant”. (Ula Sickle)