Balance is the latest installation piece by artists Dwayne Bohuslav and Joanne Brigham, who together perform as Moving Bodies. Their art typically addresses the most primal aspects of our existence and that of our planet, here using the theme of vernal equinox for a show that opened on the date thereof.
Though their themes are often primal in nature, addressing topics such as ice, human instinct, myth, and habitation, their palette of materials is a modern one that attempts to reconcile these ancient themes with our modern lives, and discourage our ever increasing distance from a life engaged with the planet.
Many of their pieces are designed by Bohuslav, who is also an architect, and occupied by Brigham for a performance of her sound works. This synthesis of space making with occupation encourages comparisons to the primitive hut, which is furthered by the ad hoc quality of the workmanship and which again attempts to reconcile modern life with our roots, just as it first did in the writings of Laugier in the 18th century. That the installations are opened as a performance, a movement from within, rather than object installed in space for our consumption as is typical, demonstrates to the viewer our connection to these themes by showing how they may be occupied. Past themes have allowed for the art viewer to be art participant, as they were encouraged to walk through elevated constructions where they set off sonic constructions and lights through motion detectors.
This piece, Balance, while scoring the vernal equinox in its tilted frame, also took inspiration from the Japanese Tale of the Bamboo Cutter, which tells of a baby girl found inside a bamboo shoot and ends with her return to the Moon, from which she originally came. The story of something/someone from the earth returning to the heavens is a common theme through the ages, and exemplifies our desire to make sense of our place in the realm of things, and reconcile our life on this surface with the sky above. The scale change in the Japanese story, from bamboo shoot to Moon in the heavens, is typical of Japanese philosophy that finds equality between the tiniest detail and largest gesture. In the Bohuslav work, one finds a massive structure overhead giving birth to small suspended bottles, scaled to ones hand, and making sense of "balance".
Many of the works by Bohuslav and Brigham are suspended from above with the viewer passing beneath, so that present in these pieces are representatives of the earth and heavens, thereby posing a meeting of body and mind, instinct and learned, and in the end, an articulation of our presence on earth.