Anne Imhof

Angst III, 2016
Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal

Anne Imhof’s multi-layered performative works aim to develop and extend the notion of performance. Drawing on the history of performance in both art and music, her works are conceived as complex, intimate studies of movement, gesture and action. Most works tend to stretch over long periods of time (sometimes several hours), whereby the movements and language fragments of the performers are choreographed into a highly personal visual language that is subject to constant change.

For Le Grand Balcon, Anne Imhof presents Angst III, the third act of an “opera” constructed through a choreography of enigmatic gestures, an abstract musical composition and various sculptural elements composing the scene. In Imhof’s performances, though there is a loose script of motions (choreography) and sound (spoken word and singing), the performers—often the artist’s friends and peers—are at liberty to add movements, teaching them to each other during rehearsals. These gestures are often private and intimate interactions, drawn from the personal, the ritual or the cryptic communication systems of marginal communities. They may include secret salutations, flirtations, pickpocketing gestures or other signs that tend to go under the radar rather than serve as tools for “official” communication.

Imhof’s way of working not only dissolves the actor-audience boundary but it also draws heavily on the internal workings of certain communities—such as organized gangs and ethnic groups—where similar outer and inner circles are created and deliberately maintained as a means of self-protection.

The installation is open to the public on Wednesdays and Thursdays between 6pm and 9pm and on Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 6pm.

Photo: Jonas Leihener