Naomi James Schatteman
In Preliminary Attempts, Naomi explores ‘breaking out of a straitjacket’ and looking for a new language of movement. This requires a dissection of its “own”(?) movement language. A movement language that Naomi (and her dancers) have long embodied. A movement language driven primarily by and through the male gaze (The male gaze), which still resides in their bodies to this day.
As an audience, we are used to seeing some kind of build-up happening on stage, but this ‘work in progress’ consists specifically of the action of sharing that ‘dissection’. It is a process of ‘unpacking’ (of that movement language). No buildup but rather a reduction. A dissection. With this work, as in her last work The next moment is never more significant (19.06.2022), she transforms her audience from mere spectators to witnesses. The inertia she uses is deployed for this purpose as a method, a tool to proceed to decomposition. With which she might be able to direct your gaze and thus turn the tables?
Naomi James Schatteman
Naomi is a Belgian artist who explores boundaries within a multidisciplinary performance practice. She uses movement/dance, choreography, video, photo, collage, text and/or audio. Some of her works can be seen as meditations on socio-cultural issues such as gender, the male gaze and the role of the female body and dancer, in and through the capitalist, male-dominated world we live in. With a striking intuition and a very precise sense of timing and composition, she simultaneously manages to create a very subtle but persistent tension in her performances. In the process, she adds notions of power play & voyeurism. The way she ‘uses’ her audience is a very present and important element in the work, and towards the reflection of the work. Her recent performances and research are an extension of an earlier long-term work (‘Long-term piece 2011-2019’) in which she played the role of a commercial dancer/showgirl/choreographer, producing and creating dance performances for high-end corporate events and publicity, in a glamorous world of artificial
In parallel, Naomi explores how to break out of that straitjacket and make space for a new language of movement. Starting from Contemplations on the role of the female dancer, questioning why fetishizing our bodies became a daily routine. An ongoing investigation into the notion of ‘non-deliverance’ in and through her practice and by extension in and through (Western) society.