Underneath, in “Places in Space,” Dance Place, Washington, DC, 2011
Inspired by imagined worlds that exist below the surface of perception, this installation and durational live art performance was created for an evening of ephemeral works inspired by place. A side gallery and adjacent prop room were prepared through subtraction—removal of distracting objects and colors—and addition—a white ground, blue light, flowing fabric, an infrastructure of vertical and horizontal hooks, and a list of tasks for dancer Sharon Mansur to enact and explore. With simple repetitive actions and common materials, Mansur inhabited and altered this confined volume, weaving a canopy of jute to create two spaces, one above and one below. Over the course of the evening, and independent of the audience’s gaze, Mansur transformed the space while other works were presented in the theatre, challenging expected relationships between audience and performer, action and place and highlighting the ways that our actions mark and change the places we inhabit.
“It was Mansur & Eisenbach’s ‘Underneath’ that accomplished what site-specific work should: alter a space or one’s experience of a space.” Lisa Traiger, Dance View Times