Brighton Digital Festival

In our online exhibition, artist Christopher Matthews presents three screen-based works, first seen in Brighton at the Marlborough Theatre as part of South East Dance’s Brighton Digital Festival proposition and the Marlborough’s New Queers on the Block. Matthew’s work is rooted in the collision between popular culture and art histories and techniques. As a performer, his own body is at the centre of the work: a highly skilled, larger, cis-gendered, white, gay, male body whose persistence continues to query the idealised physical form of the classical dancer.

Untitled Video Portraits (2017/ present) are studies which engage with the music video as a form at the centre of pop culture. With these works Matthews is interested in iconoclasm, a critical engagement with technique and the formal properties of popular media. The videos are played without the sound so that the identity of the music is present only through its embodiment by the performer. 

Cath James, South East Dance Artistic Director, says: Christopher’s work is asking those big questions – Who gets to dance, Who gets to be heard? and Why does it matter? These questions are also at the heart of our enquiry and vision for the future of South East Dance, which is why I am delighted to be hosting these films on our website in order for them to have a wider reach and resonance, and the possibility of an international profile. I found that the longer and more closely I watched these works, the more they intrigued and invited me to consider these questions, so please do give yourself permission to take time out, and spend time with Christopher. I welcome thoughtful comments and responses to the work via our Facebook page.

As a contributor to Brighton Digital Festival, we celebrate the meeting of technology and dance in many ways. In the past we have partnered with venues to co-present work, offered Artist Residencies, supported Research and Development, hosted Dance/Tech Hacks, shared work-in-progress and run our Audience Ambassador scheme.

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© Christopher Matthews, Untilted Video Portraits
Brighton Digital Festival

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