I dance for you my edifice

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l’étrangère is pleased to present 'I dance for you my edifice', a solo exhibition by London-based artist Evy Jokhova. The site-specific, multimedia installation, comprised of interactive sound sculptures, photographs, paintings and performance, investigates our relationship stone — a ‘historical constant’ whose significance is simultaneously entwined with ancient mythology and contemporary obsessions with materiality and synthesis.

Drawing on references to antiquity and Greek mythology, Jokhova examines our longstanding relationship with stone in a series of interactive sculptures imbued with sound — elongated, stone-like pillars and stone stacks — that inhabit the gallery space. Despite their weighty demeanour, the sculptures are made from synthetic, light- weight materials, manipulated by Jokhova to mimic stone.

The relationship we hold with stone goes far beyond its material qualities of longevity, endurance, stability and weight. Since the beginning of civilisation, stone has been used to construct homes, monuments and places of worship. In an attempt to “excavate” this natural inclination we hold towards stone, Jokhova’s edifices take on an Anthropomorphic stature — responding to and interacting with their audience. This insertion of the anthropos ‘human’ into the stone not only highlights the personal nature of our relationship to the material, but it follows a long history of casting man into stone through first of cairns and later carved stone renditions of the figure.

Interactive and performative, Jokhova has created a range of sounds and compositions, in collaboration with programmer Hannah Cross and composer Oliver Price, that see some of the sculptures function as motion-activated instruments. Hidden within their surfaces, Jokhova has imbedded motion sensors that detect the speed and proximity of the audience, allowing the sculptures to respond to their audience — transcribing their motions into sounds. Others will silently find their place, between ruins and mock artefacts, on a raised museum-style platform. 

For the closing event of the exhibition, Jokhova has invited a choreographer to treat one of her sound sculptures as a dance partner , to form a dance sequence together. 

Image Credits: Evy Jokhova, Apendices I, 2018 © the artist, courtesy l'etrangere