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I'm Lost Without Your Rhythm
Johanna Billing

I’m Lost Without Your Rhythm documents a choreography workshop involving amateur Romanian dancers and acting students at the Periferic 8 Biennial of Contemporary Art in Iasi, Romania (2008). Led by renowned Swedish choreographer Anna Vnuk, the movement of bodies do not coalesce into a singular performance. Rather, the itinerant dance is weaved by Billing’s film into several days’ activity and continuous process of live improvisation between the choreographer, dancers and local musicians —observed by a sporadic flow of onlookers.

The project guides the participating individuals and the audience to explore contemporary choreography and its significance within the cultural context of a small city such as Iasi, where there are few opportunities to enter the field of contemporary dance. Noting the practice of choreographers such as Yvonne Rainer and her explorations of everyday movements, Billing’s film investigates individual subjectivity and the question of how one might perform being. Paying tender attention to minute details, the work centres the mind on the social body: the body among others, the body aware of itself. The work’s soundtrack combines percussive elements of improvised, live music performed at the Biennial in Iasi as well as a version of the song ‘My Heart’ (originally written and performed by the Swedish drum and vocal duo ‘Wildbirds and Peacedrums’ in 2009). The dancers’ movements, the activities taking place around them and the rhythm of the music are reconstituted into a new kind of choreography: motions that are akin to the everyday struggle and the labour in overcoming institutional obstacles. 

Keywords Dance , Body
Aspect ratio 1.78:1 (16:9)
Prod. format Generic HD-video
Duration 00:13:29
Color Color
Year 2009
In text Johanna Billing
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About the artist

Johanna Billing

Jönköping, Sweden, 1973; lives and works in Stockholm

Johanna Billing has been making video works since 1999 that weave together music, movement and rhythm. Merging the production modes of collective live events and workshops with a cinematic language, the films often focus on aspects of learning and how time plays a key role in that process. Billing in part directs the participants and in part activates a series of improvisations around the notion of performance and the possibility it holds to explore issues of the public and the private as well as the individual in the society as a whole. Billing often addresses political climates and cultural specificities. She transforms through a documentary method, her filmmaking in a fictive space to examine actual and contrived events and how that filmed compression illuminates their overlap. Billing’s videos often feature modified scores and music composed by the artist or in close dialogue with participants, using sound as an essential device for collaboration and communication.