We’re always eager to know what our visitors think about their experiences at the Blanton, of course, but never more so than with the current experimental project, Perception Unfolds: Looking at Deborah Hay’s Dance. Designed to engage viewers in really active looking, the immersive filmed dance installation encourages visitors to choreograph their own experience of the dance by moving about and finding fresh perspectives from which to view it. The project features an adjacent resource room where visitors can read more about the choreographer and her work, the experiences of the performers, and the nature of perception itself. Visitors can also watch videos, see related artworks, and try out a new software app, used in the creation of the installation, that responds to the body’s movement to navigate three-dimensional space. And, they are invited to give us feedback on their experiences as viewers.

Deborah Hay

Photo by Mary Myers

We thought you might enjoy reading a selection of the funny, curious and insightful comments that visitors are leaving us in response to the prompt:

How did your perceptions unfold as you experienced the dance? Write or draw a description of your response in the comment book.

Hay’s dance dared to be different. It was confusing, beautiful, and mind opening all in one.

Really a meditative and remarkable experience that is so wonderfully different each visit. THANK YOU.

[Written to the artist:] Greetings Deborah, you have stretched us yet again. My 10 year old grandson LOVES everything about this. My 4 year old granddaughter fully participated. I am a kid again.

I’ve never really seen this kind of dance or even “self expression” before. It was really unusual and I tried to understand it and take it in, but it was hard for me. I guess it shows how understanding expression can lead to frustration and wanting to understand.

Deborah Hay

Photo by Mary Myers

Poetry—sound—movement—mystery—constantly changing

I loved it but it was weird in a good way.

I loved it and I do not care what other people think.

Ultimately freeing

I am writing this with my whole body.

The dance was unique and unlike any other dancing I’ve seen. It definitely inspired me to continue finding my own ways of expressing how I feel and what I think. It shows there’s no boundaries to art and everyone is entitled to their own interpretation.

This blog was submitted by Annette DiMeo Carlozzi, curator at large at the Blanton Museum of Art, and curator of Perception Unfolds: Looking at Deborah Hay’s Dance. The exhibition is on view through May 18, 2014.

One Response

  1. David Kinne says:

    I entered the installation from the side, from the Convergent Lines exhibit, and at first I did not know what I was looking at, nor did I know anything about the piece. My view of the screen on the left was such that it appeared to me to be an actual live performance by a woman inside a large white box, with a scrim in front of it. I watched it for several minutes before moving on, at which point the changing perspective revealed it to be a projection on a flat screen. The illusion may have been unintentional, but it was complete, and I was charmed by it.

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