Gesture


2016

HD video 3.45 mins, archival pigment print and marker on cotton paper. Made in collaboration with Dinis Machado.

The ‘gesture’, a subtle body movement, can be understood as a carrier of identity across time. In the text Gesture, Ephemera and Queer Feeling (2009), the American performance scholar José Esteban Muñoz (1967—2013) uses the term to describe how social conventions and demands prescribe how bodies should be and behave. Esteban Muñoz explores his own physical memories and how queer bodies become imprinted by unconscious violation of established codes. 

The film Gesture is a collaboration between Conny Karlsson Lundgren and the choreographer and dancer Dinis Machado in which they trace private and corporal experiences, sensations and memories. The process departed from conversations around growing up queer in different environments, decades and class contexts. Short sentences were developed into a score inspired by Muñoz’s text, which was interpreted and embodied by Machado in a series of movement phases: “Walk straight. To feel the carpet texture on my face and arm. To come. Open your mouth with desire and discomfort. To be put against the wall and like it. Female leg crossing standing. Be on points. To point. Fight like a queen. To be pointed at.” 

In the filmed performance, Machado moves inside an empty semi-public space, embodying the shared experience of coming of age through a choreography that is both tender, erotic and painful

Gesture, film still. Cinematography: Maja Dennhag.
Installation view, Bonniers Konsthall, 2024.    
Photo: Jean-Baptiste Béranger.
Gesture, Ephemera, and Queer Feeling (detail). 
Pigment print and marker on cotton paper.
Installation view, Sandvikens Konsthall, 2018    
Photo: Mike Karlsson Lundgren.
Installation view, Sandvikens Konsthall, 2018    
Photo: Mike Karlsson Lundgren.

Gesture excerpt 3,45 mins (Gesture/Labour/Leisure  17 mins)., 2016
Cinematography: Maja Dennhag,


Gesture is an independent part of the installation Gesture/Labour/Leisure commissioned by Haninge konsthall, Stockholm, 2016.

Gesture/Labour/
Leisure


2016


HD video 17 mins, color/sound, pallets, washing lines. Made in collaboration with Dinis Machado.

Through the language of dance and body movement, two different phenomena are presented from the local history of Haninge, a region within the urban area of Stockholm. One of these are the laundries, which were in abundance and a crucial part of the local industry during the first half of the 1900s, a specific kind of labour usually performed by women and based on a methodical and repetitive pattern of movements that slowly vanished and seize to exist. The other is Ultrahuset, (The Ultra House) a community centre and alternative punk scene that was vital throughout the 1980s before it was closed down and followed by an occupation and massive protests. The space relates to leisure, ecstasy and euphoria connected with music and resistance, a safe haven that offered a counterculture and a sense of belonging. 

Together with choreographer and dancer Dinis Machado both of these narratives have been revisited through material from archives and private collections in an attempt of tracing a body’s memory. Gesture has been added as a third narrative, a sequence of private ephemeral memories that embody a coming of age. The term is used to reflect upon a physical queer experience where private identity is unintentionally exposed by the body’s seemingly insignificant movements. Gesture then becomes a lens, a disturbance of brief interludes between these two movements—Labour and Leisure. Through this lens diverse bodies are highlighted in the local history of the region.


Installation view, Haninge Konsthall, 2016.    
Photo: Conny Karlsson Lundgren.
Research material: Överhaningeundersökningen 1963 (Book 2/3), laundries, dry barns, farmhouses and sheds. Haninge municipality's archives. Photo: Conny Karlsson Lundgren.
Research material: photos by Stefan Olsson, Hannu Bergvall, Dudde Duningen, Håvad Houven and others. Newspaper clippings and documents from Haninge municipality's archives.

Performer and Choreography: Dinis Machado. Director and Editing: Conny Karlsson Lundgren. Cinematography: Maja Dennhag. Assistant Camera: Majaq Julén. Sound Recording: Felix Aneer. Sound: Jesper Norda
Gesture/Labour/Leisure was presented in a stage-set constructed out of pallets based on the floor plan of Ultrahuset and placed under a temporary ceiling of linen washing lines. The project was commissioned by Haninge Konsthall/Centre for Contemporary Art. Exhibitions: Haninge Konsthall, Stockholm SE. Sandviken Konsthall, Sandviken SE. Neue Galerie, Innsbruck AT. Bonniers Konsthall, Stockholm SE.


 ©MMXIV Conny Karlsson Lundgren