Minutes_Photo by Thierry Bal

Minutes (2009)

Minutes is a performance created by Siobhan Davies, Catherine Bennett, Matteo Fargion, Henry Montes, Deborah Saxon and Matthias Sperling.

Conceived for art gallery spaces, Minutes comprises a series of succinct pieces of movement, physical imagery and sound, each piece created by the artists who perform it. The work interweaves a series of duet performances by Bennett/Fargion and Montes/Saxon, and a series of solo performances by Sperling, making up a one-hour loop that is performed continuously throughout gallery opening hours. Siobhan Davies takes the role of time-keeper for the performance, sitting on a chair in the gallery space with a stopwatch, calling out and marking the arrival of each new minute within the loop.

The dance is juxtaposed in the same space with A Solo in the Doldrums by visual artist Anri Sala, which comprises a drum programmed to produce its own rhythm which in turn is taken from a piece previously performed by Siobhan Davies.

Sperling's contribution to Minutes is a solo performance that takes up Davies' invitation to investigate how choreographic works can inhabit the temporal and spatial conditions of a gallery, with audience members invited to come and go freely at any point:

"What is needed to be put in place or learnt to have our work seen in another medium's environment; how do we keep what is distinctive in our movement, rhythmical and sensual work and how do we apply ourselves to a different physical space and use of time, especially one that has a different history of expectation and critical debate?"  Siobhan Davies

Sperling's response plays with the idea of seeing unheard music manifested in movement. Framed by the rhythmic ticking of seconds on a metronome that he places beside him, he uses a vocabulary of small and precise movements to embody the rhythmic and melodic journey of a music that he is always in the act of generating and 'hearing' internally. Through a concentrated and nuanced deployment of his selected movement vocabulary, Sperling's movement becomes an instrument through which this spontaneously composed music can be visually, rather than audibly, manifested.

Performances: Minutes was first performed 24 March – 9 April 2009 at Victoria Miro Gallery (London, UK), as part of The Collection, a larger project initiated by Siobhan Davies and Victoria Miro, juxtaposing dance and visual art works in a single exhibition over multiple sites.

Also performed at:
Ikon Eastside (Birmingham, UK), 24 Sep – 4 Oct 2009
Hayward Gallery (London, UK), 27 – 28 Nov 2010


Watch video documentation of Minutes on Replay, the archive of Siobhan Davies Dance LINK

Read an interview with Matthias Sperling about Minutes with Dance UK LINK