Nava Waxman: Choreographed Marks

Curated By Anik Glaude, The Varley Art Gallery of Markham

Choreographed Marks presents a series of performances for the camera, recorded between 2014-2017. These works represent themes of movement and temporalities, inscriptions of bodily and painted gestures, rituals and notions of in-betweenness

These lens-based works are informed by my performative research that emphasizes process and documentation, to explore the potential of employing conceptual choreographic methods within visual arts processes of making, to explore the performative aspect of painting, and its relation to movement. Each work in the exhibition demonstrates how the camera has been used to light the performative elements of mark-making. The uses of sequencing, repetition, and the arrangement of images and marks are both a presentation strategy and a way to develop a visual and gestural vocabulary.


This project is part of right here\right now, an initiative to help foster the work of contemporary artists in the York Region. Special thank you and gratitude to Suzy Lake for her mentorship. Choreographed Marks is Generously supported by the Ontario Art Council.

Polyphony is a photographic mural piece that comprises a sequence of 21 performance still photographs. In these images, a temporary wall painting acts as a backdrop to a performative act for the camera. Painted forms and lines become a gestural extension of the moving body in space. Drawing upon the polyphonic structure theorized by Swiss artist Paul Klee, this work responds to the simultaneous presentation of information through a structural sequence with visual rhythm, tempo, and variations that are reverberating across each frame.  A Typographic symbol inscribed on the floor as a choreographic device, within the photographs becomes a repeatable continuum. Solitary Waves is a photographic diagram constructed from the accumulation of performance video still recorded, for the camera. The work explores polarities of movement and stillness, geometric forms and animated gestures, and how to utilize movement and dance notation systems as a critical tool for recording and to reflect on movement and gestures in space.  A Theatrical Place for the Unearthed is a moving image work that Investigates notions of liminality, rituals, and the perception of time through movement—drawing on ideas of myth translation, interpretations, and the deceptions of Lilith, a female figure from Hebrew mythology including the various iconographies used to depict the myth throughout the 20th century. Montage technique and the various durations and transitions evoke a state of liminality, where the familiar order of things is suspended between the momentarily negated past and the yet to begin future. Transitional Object explores movement between cyclic perspective and the linear perspective of time, and the experience of temporal continuity, exploring what might forms the basis of our senses of the duration of time.  The work consists of a rectangle wood panel leaning against the gallery wall. There are superimposed patterns of painted forms and chalk drawings on the surface, and bleeding onto the gallery wall. At the center of the wooden panel, a moving image is screened through a circular hole centered within its core.