HAPPENINGText: Ilaria Ventriglia

This could be the story of a rarefied and cerebral journey which involves a number of expressive languages in order to arrive at an objective view of things. Kelly Nipper, a young American born in 1971, uses photography based on performance, with installations of bodies in action to examine movement and time. (According to Gino De Dominicis: “the photograph does not create. It reproduces or interprets the existing”). The artist uses it like a prologue, to reveal and interpret the conceptual process of the work.

Timing Exercise 6:37, 2001-2002, Diptych, 2 framed chromogenic prints, 395.2 x 120.6 cm each, Ed.4

Like a director, she creates the performance, organises the bodies in space, together with their movements and timing, after which comes the video documentary or the photograph. The cultural framework is the expressive frontier of the sixties-seventies, a period in which the body became one of the most popular tools of investigation chosen by artists and the emphasis was on dance and choreography.

The reference is clearly to the generation before that, to names such as Merce Cunningham, Californian musician John Cage (which whom the dancer/choreographer worked) as well as Yvonne Rainer and Trisha Brown. These were years in which a great deal of experimentation and exploration took place in the US under the banner of linguistic contamination: the Happening, the Environment, from Fluxus to Living Theatre up to New Dance.

Timing Exercise 11:58, 2001-2002, Diptych, 2 framed chromogenic prints, 395.2 x 120.6 cm each, Ed.4

Kelly Nipper lives and works in Los Angeles, part of a substantial new generation of LA artists and LA is a city in which art has always been derived from life and vice versa. Her performances use elements such as chance or indetermination, one of the primary ways for bringing art as close as possible to life and so to the material facts which determine it. Without utopias and political angles.

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