Morgan O'Hara: Live Transmissions from the English National Ballet

2 May 2012 – 8 Jun 2012

Regular hours

13:00 – 18:00
13:00 – 18:00
13:00 – 18:00

C4RD - Centre for Recent Drawing

London, United Kingdom


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Live Transmissions


With LIVE TRANSMISSIONS fom the ENGLISH NATIONAL BALLET, the Centre for Recent Drawing celebrates the work of Morgan O'Hara. C4RD and the ENGLISH NATIONAL BALLET have collaborated on a very special project, where Morgan O'Hara was given unfettered access over a two year period to respond to the rehearsals and performances of the ballet dancers at work. It has been a privilege to have been able to bring together two artistic practices of such high quality, that of the artist Morgan O'Hara and that of the English National Ballet. Within her busy international schedule O'Hara has for three years attended the performances and rehearsals of the English National Ballet in London to continue her work, and it was an act of generosity by the dancers to welcome her as they did. O'Hara is known internationally for her LIVE TRANSMISSION work, which involves her handling bunches of very sharp pencils and tracking on paper with two hands, simultaneously, the movements that people undertake in their everyday activity. Drawing has a historical association with the ephemeral, both in the fragility of traditional materials but also its capacity to capture the passing world. Here is gesture that encodes time in the length and implication of speed of the mark, but often also in its repetition. Here is a language distinct to drawing in an expanded field which recalls the difference in each repetition of the frames of Edward Muybridge's motion studies. These works collapse drawing as documentation, performance, and seeing; as both diagrammatic and mimetic. They occupy a liminal space between a flattened, formal two dimensional plane and an intimation of the third dimension's depth of field. These drawings bestow dignity on the everyday activity which they record, and occupy their own insistent formal presence. They also communicate embodiment back to the dancers. Matching the physical with the physical, Morgan recounts how easily these the dancers recognise their own experience in these drawings. O'Hara has found a unique equivalence to that rarified and complex form of human activity that is dance. The drawings shown will be drawn from O'Hara's observations of African Dance, American Contemporary Dance (LaMaMa, Core, Feldman, etc.), Argentinian tango, Batsheva Company (Israel), Chinese Opera Movement / Dance, Contemporary Dance soloists (Lincke & Hoff, Irwin, Morris, Brown, Mesa), Cristiane de Chatel Company (The Netherlands), English National Ballet, Folk Dance (Japanese, German, Malay, Burmese, Ainu, Okinawa), Flamenco (Pages, Galo'), Forsythe Company, Frankfurt Ballet, Hip Hop Dance, Irish Set Dance, Japanese Butoh masters (Hijikata, Ohno, Tanaka, Akita, Amagatsu, Eiko&Koma), Japanese Contemporary Dance, Martha Graham Company, Merce Cunningham Dance Company, Pappa Tarahumara (Japan) and Pina Bausch Dance Company. These drawings feature in the publication of Volume 5 of The Encyclopedia of Live Transmission by Morgan O'Hara, which coincides with the exhibition, and includes from Craig Hassall, formerly of the ENB, Andrew Hewish of C4RD, Nellie Rokovsky of the Hermitage, and art historian Susanne Leeb.

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