NOEMIE LAFRANCE: MELT
PRESS RELEASE / SUMMER 2003
The only artist to stage a performance unaffiliated with an exhibition in Black & White Gallery's outdoor project space, Noémie Lafrance's work challenges conventions of dance, which commonly favor bodies moving in isolation from their surroundings. Her site-specific choreography forcefully engages with the formal and psychological particularities of architecture. Presented on two evenings, her work in progress, Melt, tethered three female dancers to the back wall of the Williamsburg space, their bodies covered in a combination of bees wax and synthetic lanolin. As they performed a 15-minute piece, the wax melted under the heat emitted by the intense lighting, giving the impression that the bodies would disappear completely over time. "The piece was about bodies transforming into light," said Lafrance. "I wanted to have dancers attached to the wall as if for eternity in this dead-end space. It has no exit except for the sky, which kind of opens a lid on the space, and walking, you can't go anywhere, but you can fly—or evaporate." The performance was visually unforgettable, and it generated a significant amount of interest in Lafrance, who went on to choreograph Noir, staged in a parking garage in conjunction with the 2004 Whitney Biennial, among other celebrated works. She most recently presented Rapture on the facade of the Frank Ghery-designed Fischer Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College, and she is currently searching for a venue where she can realize a larger, complete version of Melt.