Patterns

By Mira Loew

Here is a beautiful picture by photographer and artist Mira Loew, taken in her old studio somewhere in Dalston in 2012 or there abouts, where there was a white cat somewhere out of shot. The patterns on the floor make the composition even more striking – my legs forming similar corners and edges inside shapes, fingers reaching to pull space in towards me. The pattern of being a bit shy, with my back to the camera, also strikes me. If, as a performer, there is the option of a massive sculptural costume and you don’t have to see my face, then great. The pattern here is not vanity, but rather sensing myself as the kind of performer who wants you to see the movement, not me as a persona. I do not want to perform ‘myself’, though cannot help being myself. If you see my face, you’d see how flickers of commentary upon the present moment move across it, adding to the movement in ways that I don’t always think are necessary to an appreciation of space, shape, line, flow. But neither is the dreary so-called neutral vacant too-cool face that attempts to sit somewhere behind ‘the movement’, yet is a trademark of a particular education and ideological position on ‘the movement’, maybe even, ‘the body’. Better hide my face than pull it into the kind of face I pull in the supermarket queue. Sure, other performers, in other contexts, yes please, I want to see their faces. Especially when faces are treated as part of movement with clarity in the reach of the eyes, accepting the vibrancy of breath moving through nose and mouth, the release of jaw. In this shot, Mira reminds me that composition can be something more formal yet still vital, more about the body wrestling into space as well as being shaped by it – something entirely palpable in her own self-portraits.

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