Local artist JD Sell wants us to become hyper-aware of how we interact with people, how we engage with others in public and private spaces, and how we react to physical social cues. But in this day and age, it’s difficult to find time to truly examine our face-to-face interactions.
“It often feels that so many different aspects of contemporary life are demanding our attention that distract us from the physical, tangible creatures we are existing in a 4-Dimensional state,” Sell tells the Indy
via email. “These Installations are also asking for that attention; not to distract but to awaken the simple truth that we are physically here and others around us are also here.”
The installations to which Sell refers are part of a collaborative, multi-media pop-up exhibition and performance called 3 Movements
, which will be held at three different gallery spaces over the course of three evenings. Each movement — which includes a set piece, a body suit, a custom soundscape and Sell himself acting as the primary performer — will focus on a different aspect of interpersonal interaction.
Aug. 2 in the courtyard of the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College
, the first movement will address hand-holding. With a live soundscape provided by Kate Perdoni, and a suit designed by Alix Garcia, the installation will invite participants to interact with the space, then lay down beside Sell and hold his hand for up to three minutes.
“When approaching the first structure being shown at the Fine art center Courtyard,” Sell says, “my goal is to present the action of hand-holding in an isolated and specialized space where direct interaction (holding my hand), observing ones’ interaction and hearing a soundscape change live to those interactions can occur all on the same plane.”
The next evening at Kreuser Gallery
, Sell will wear a suit designed by Su Kaiden Cho, and interact with a tube-like space that will have an opening only large enough for one person. The soundscape, provided by Mitchell Macura, will be “constructed live or recorded to fill the space with a presence of a crowded urban space.” This installation focuses on body contact.
Then, 3 Movements
will conclude the evening of Aug. 4 at The Modbo
, where a dome-like structure made of fabric panels will be erected. Sell will wear a suit designed by Aaron Graves, which covers all but his eyes. “This figure will be wondering around the space only using eye contact as the source of interaction with participants in the space,” Sell says. Alex Koshack will provide the soundscape.
These three installation-based performances, in conjunction with one another, should draw direct attention to how we exist physically alongside each other, all presented in spaces where people gather and connect — art galleries. Sell hopes the series will help bridge gaps and encourage engagement between people, whether they be strangers or close friends.
“When providing a space and experience that has one central focus of a fairly common mode of interaction we see or directly experience every day,” Sell says, “it brings about a hyper awareness to the entire scope of what it means to interact physically with another being in that way. … To me, observing two people holding hands and actually holding someone’s hand are two (halves) to the same coin when speaking about engaging others in the world.”
Each performance is free to attend, but donations are requested to support all contributing artists.