BY MEMO AKTEN and QUAYOLA
Forms is an ongoing collaboration between visuals artists Memo Akten and Quayola, a series of studies on human motion, and its reverberations through space and time. It is inspired by the works of Eadweard Muybridge, Harold Edgerton, Étienne-Jules Marey as well as similarly inspired modernist cubist works such as Marcel Duchamp’s “Nude Descending a Staircase No.2″. Rather than focusing on observable trajectories, it explores techniques of extrapolation to sculpt abstract forms, visualizing unseen relationships – power, balance, grace and conflict – between the body and its surroundings.
The project investigates athletes; pushing their bodies to their extreme capabilities, their movements shaped by an evolutionary process targeting a winning performance. Traditionally a form of entertainment in todays society with an overpowering competitive edge, the disciplines are deconstructed and interrogated from an exclusively mechanical and aesthetic point of view; concentrating on the invisible forces generated by and influencing the movement.
The source for the study is footage from the Commonwealth Games. The process of transformation from live footage to abstract forms is exposed as part of the interactive multi-screen artwork, to provide insight into the evolution of the specially crafted world in which the athletes were placed.
The video installation is currently being exhibited at the National Media Museums ’In The Blink of an Eye’ Exhibition, 9th March – 2nd September, 2012, alongside classic images by photographers as diverse Harold Edgerton, Eadweard Muybridge, Roger Fenton, Richard Billingham and Oscar Rejlander as well as historic items of equipment, films and interactive displays.