Cover image of the review

Sally Smart: The Choreography of Cutting

1 Apr 2017
Sarah Scout Presents 11 Mar - 15 Apr 2017

Sally Smart's exhibition at Sarah Scout Gallery presents work from the artist's major ongoing project The Choreography of Cutting (2014–), alongside pieces that continue her 2012 series The Pedagogical Puppet. The synthesis of these two research projects combines to form the exhibition's enquiry into the intersection of dance, movement and pedagogy. The assemblage and collage works on show investigate cutting and pastiche as formal expressions of Smart's layered and synergetic approach to dance and pedagogy as both spatialised and dynamic practices.

Perhaps the most ambitious creations on display are the two assemblage works that reference the theatre and costume design of the early twentieth-century avant-garde dance company, The Ballets Russes. Under the direction of Sergei Diaghilev, The Ballets Russes famously commissioned costume and set design from a coterie of modernist artists including Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Natalia Goncharova and Sonia Delaunay. Leon Bakst, who acted as an artistic director of the company, had stipulated to his costumiers that pattern designs were to be meticulously embroidered and hand-beaded; Mikhail Larionov's sumptuous and ornate costumes for the Chout ballet were then famously so heavy that it was apparently impossible for dancers to move freely. Smart has responded to this legend with her own recreations of the original Ballets Russes designs, using digital images of the costumes and splicing these with embroidered and patch-worked fabrics.

To read for free enter your email address.

Log in with your registered email address.

Memo can continue to publish free, quality, and independent weekly art criticism with the support of our readers. Consider becoming a Patreon supporter or making a donation.