Danae Valenza

Danae Valenza

Danae Valenza

Dancing is an activity which promotes intimacy and thrives on previous interaction. However, introduce a stranger into the mix and the situation can take a right hand turn to devastatingly awkward – pauses, false starts, missteps, oversteps, too many stolen glances (or too few), and, perhaps worse, each participant’s over-analysis of something that could be, or should be ‘natural’.

In her video work Patterned Dance: Both Lead (2010) two professionally trained dancers are each given the instruction by Melbourne-based artist Danae Valenza – to ‘lead’.  As the dancers’ bodies swerve into and away from each other we are gripped by the metaphorical and actual way this dance illustrates the points of connection and disconnection that we have with one another.

Valenza has also explored the artist/viewer and musician/listener relationships, again in relation to more universal themes. She is interested in the ways both sound and music facilitate interaction between people and offer guidelines and restrictions to actions and gestures.

These interests are apparent in the work Phonologies (2011) where a love letter translated into several different languages was  read and recorded. The recording was then abstracted into spectral frequencies and eventually transformed into musical scores (one per language) by a computer program, the final piece played by a group of musicians.

This work, and its complex translation, effectively communicates the difficult nature of putting pen to paper when writing a love letter and the anxiety the scribe often holds when doing so.

Valenza’s methodology is reflected in Candice Breitz‘s work, The Woods (2012). Valenza and Breitz’s works collide as each artist searches for the breaks, gaps, fissures and inconsistencies necessarily contained within the rehearsed space of self-presentation.

It's Just a Matter of Deciding where to Begin (2012), Danae Valenza

It’s Just a Matter of Deciding where to Begin (2012), Danae Valenza

Valenza also attempts a possible solution, or guide, to the problems with relationships in text-based works such as It’s Just a Matter of Deciding Where to Begin (2012). This sentence was transcribed into Braille by Valenza to trigger sounds of a music box. The work is a ‘blind composition’—a series of dots also suggesting Morse code. By offering the partial solution, that blindness can offer its own poetic instruction, perhaps Valenza has a (dot) point.

– Amita Kirpalani, Assistant Curator, ACMI

Danae Valenza is one of four artists participating in Profile Me; a competition inspired by our current exhibition Candice Breitz: The Character. Visit the Profile Me hub for more information on how you can enter and be in the running to win your very own digital portrait.

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