#lads 

The installation Lads is currently running at Art Night London. Follow and join on Instagram @Lads2017 and #lads

 Lads (2017/18). Image: Thomas Dupal

Lads (2017/18). Image: Thomas Dupal

About

Christopher Matthews is an American born choreographer and performance artist working from London. He holds a BFA from New York University Tisch School of the Arts and a MA in Choreography from TrinityLaban. He has choreographed and directed music videos for Erickatoure Aviance, My Pumps, and Angolan artist Coreon Du, My Heart & It’s Not Ok.  Christopher is a judge and contemporary choreographer on the popular Angolan dance reality series Bounce. His video and performance works have been presented at galleries in  Amsterdam, London, Manchester, NYC and Barcelona. His dance works have been performed in NYC, Guatemala, Germany, Taiwan, Spain, London and Edinburgh. Christopher was CreativeWorks London Entrepreneur in Residence with Roehampton University in 2012 and Dance Artist in Residence at the Southbank Centre. He completed a residency in Zagreb through WildCard Jardin D’Europe Award. As a performer, he has danced with Trajal Harrell, Janine Harrington, Alice Tatge, Jeremy Shaw, Tino Sehgal, Laura Peterson Choreography, Ann Reiking, Simone Forti, Marten Spangberg, Xavier Le Roy, Paula Roselen, Ballet NY, Connecticut Ballet, Ballet Moskva and toured with exhibitions at Tate Modern, Hayward Gallery, Haus Der Kunst, K21, and Manchester International Festival. Christopher is interested in exploring the body as a physical axis that can mould the traditional contemporary dance techniques of linear movement with the individual shapes of the performer's form and figure, developing the question “As a spectator how do we observe and what do we see?

Methodology

My practise is deeply embedded in performing. I hail from a classical ballet and early modern dance training as well as classical and commercial jazz. I continue to utilise these performed and constructed histories at the core of my work, with a concern for how themes and techniques are ways in which one performs. In this way I consider that my craft is not only a tool to serve an idea, but is something to be investigated. With twenty plus years of embodied history as a performer, I am interested in versatility and stability in relation to technique and how identity is played out in relation to specific codes. This connects strongly to my teaching practice, currently engaging with dance histories and narratives of appropriation and commercialisation of urban dance styles.

Combining my background in photography and dance history with performance, my works are intended to dialogue with the spectator on themes of voyeurism, criticism, gender, body image, working conditions, intersections of the classical and contemporary, icon vs self, pop culture and dance history. I am interested in what happens when I bring my experiences of performing in reality television, which feel like a performance of the self, into other spaces such as the gallery, where the body becomes an object/ image for contemplation, more than a spectacle. I am interested in the tensions of these colliding presentations, and the politics of seeing and acting in these contexts. These tensions are part of the work, and I build into my works certain feedback mechanisms through which the spectator is invited to invest their own ideas and questions. Most explicitly, this takes the form of conversation (T he Interview, 2014) or instagram occupy (#lads, 2017) and more implicitly I work with this idea through an engagement of the spectator’s gaze towards a kind of criticality (Untitled video works, 2017, Lads, 2017 and 20 Remix, 2013)

formed view

formed view is an agreement, open collective or frame work I generally work in.  As the artist, I shape the experience for the visitor but I feel it is a choreography that involves other artists and the visitor in order for the work to be performed. formed view is a way for me to acknowledge that contract and not claim sole responsibility and/or credit for the work present under this name.

 Image: Christopher Matthews

Image: Christopher Matthews