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Ink splash: First Impressions of Eiko & Koma’s Living Installation

“Entering Naked,” writes Bartholomew Ryan (Walker’s assistant visual art curator) on a collection card available in the gallery, “means crossing from gallery terrazzo to seared canvas flooring. Inside are long low benches facing an earth-covered terain that recedes into darkness. Not far from the benches is a nest or bedding composed of damp straw, feathers, and folded canvas. It […]

“Entering Naked,” writes Bartholomew Ryan (Walker’s assistant visual art curator) on a collection card available in the gallery, “means crossing from gallery terrazzo to seared canvas flooring. Inside are long low benches facing an earth-covered terain that recedes into darkness. Not far from the benches is a nest or bedding composed of damp straw, feathers, and folded canvas. It is here that Eiko & Koma lie, naked and on view. A light breeze blows through the space, water drips into pools amid the soil…”

“The use of nudity is not intended by the artists as a provocation or to be profane.,” said Philip Bither (Walker performing arts senior curator) “It’s a very painterly experience that is, to me, very profound.”

“Wherever your own reflections lead, you’re likely to find the piece unexpectedly entrancing and quietly moving” writes Jay Gabler (TC’s Daily Planet) which captures the overall effect of the experience with minimal language. “Naked isn’t really about their nakedness, ” Gabler writes, ” Though the performers and their slow, halting movements are at the piece’s center … in this guarded space, their dirty birthday suits serve to force a sense of reverie that constitutes the effect of the piece.”  Gabler’s full article here.

Naked received highlighted press with the Star Tribune, gracing its front cover this morning. Mary Abbe (Star Tribune) writes “During a preview Monday evening they lay, curled into semi-fetal positions, in a circle of straw and raven feathers behind a curtain in a softly lit Walker gallery. As viewers peered through holes in the curtain or settled on seats beside them, the pair ever-so-slowly stirred and stretched, sometimes flexing a muscle, extending an arm, arching a neck or back. The only sounds were gallery chatter or the occasional drip of water plopping into the 2 tons of dirt that surrounds them.” Abbe’s full article here.

Dance Magazine‘s Eva Yaa Asantewaa writes: “The Japanese-born couple often present dance/installation works that embed slow micro-movements within physical environments carefully designed to evoke some essential, primal truth about the human animal. It’s like watching a forest change seasons.” Asantewaa’s full article here.

Eiko and Koma’s Living Installation Naked Walker commission runs for the duration of November during gallery hours inhabiting the Walker’s Event Horizon exhibition. Stay for a few minutes or the entire day, or return numerous times to see the piece evolve.