The Institute of Contemporary Arts returns to The Old Selfridges Hotel for another year and brings with it a host of international guests for its ICA: Off-Site programme. The concrete carcass of the former residence that sits on the west wing of the luxury department store on Orchard Street sets the scene for an electric schedule of live performance across the mediums of music, art, dance and debate to coincide with Frieze week.
As well as highlights starring Isabel Lewis, Hans Ulrich Obrist and Rhizome, last Thursday’s highly anticipated collaborative set between Korakrit Arunanondchai and boychild with AJGvojic commanded block-long queues for the late evening performance.
The Last 3 Years and the Future comprised of four video works accompanied by a live performance centred around a stage that had been decorated with Arunanondchai’s trademark bleached denim canvases.
The scene in The Old Selfrdiges Hall reflected the current state of young performance art that the Bangkok-born New York-based artist is affiliated with: an unashamed aesthetic clash and sensory overload that parallels our virtual demeanour for information and speed.
The four video works that span between 2012 and 2014 were collaborative in their construct – another emerging signature of new-age performance art – to create a complex overlapping of narrative and context shot over specific lengths of time and rooted in the artist’s heritage.
The Future (2014) – the last in the four-part series – is an ongoing feature film shot this summer in collaboration with boychild: an intensely captivating chameleon and performance artist based in Los Angeles. Clips of popular culture television such as talent shows and news feeds are spliced together with cultural landscapes and digitally manipulated imagery over a dynamic score that set the scene for the anticipated live element of the performance.
The theatrics of strobe lighting and smoke machines - designed by Serbian AJGvojic - created an impressive climax through the various sets to a break in its pace. Arunanondchai and his smoking, denim-clad posse handed over the stage to boychild’s exhilarating body-centric display. A remix cut of TLC’s 1999-hit Unpretty accelerated as the metamorphic artist produced gender-bending shapes and convulsions that played on notions of beauty, androgyny and anarchy shrouded in an apocalyptic haze.
From Arunanondchai’s denim canvases to boychild’s body-as-canvas and AJGvojic's canvassing of the environment with texture and sound, The Last 3 Years and the Future was a stimulating experience to behold of 'live surface' expression and an exciting insight in the radical directions and influences being explored within contemporary performance art.
View more images and video from the performance The Last 3 Years and the Future by Korakrit Arunanondchai and boychild with AJGvojic on my Tumblr page hashtag-highlife-lowlife.tumblr.com
ICA: Off-Site runs to 18th October 2014 at The Old Selfridges Hotel, above Selfridges Food Hall – click here for a full schedule of live events. Korakrit Arunanondchai’s denim paintings may be viewed at the ICA on The Mall in the group exhibition Beware Wet Paint through to 16th November 2014.
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Top image courtesy of ICA