En Puntas
August 30, 2013 2:46 PM   Subscribe

EN PUNTAS (extracts). "A ballerina, whose pointe shoes are extended by a set of sharp kitchen knives, dances and twirls insistently until reaching exhaustion, fighting to maintain balance on the lid of a grand piano set on a stage..." Video installation by artist Javier Pérez, featuring ballerina Amélie Ségarra.
posted by homunculus (25 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
I watched this yesterday and it squicked me the fuck out. Whoever edited this should be cutting thrillers and horror films. I barely made i through the damn thing.
posted by dobbs at 3:04 PM on August 30, 2013 [5 favorites]


I want more.
posted by runehog at 3:07 PM on August 30, 2013


This is incredible, and I love how noisy it is!
She is a hell of an athlete.
posted by Lemmy Caution at 3:09 PM on August 30, 2013


It definitely held my attention, but I would have lit it differently. I wanted a high gloss on the piano and enough lighting to see those knives glisten.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 3:12 PM on August 30, 2013 [4 favorites]


Would have been more awesome if someone had been playing the piano.

I spent the entire video mortified at what she was doing to that piano.
posted by cjorgensen at 3:12 PM on August 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


She is a hell of an athlete.

Yeah, although I'd be interested to see a "making of." We get a lot of shots of her waist-up and a lot waist-down but precious few full-body. Either it's not actually that hard to balance on these things and she's mostly hamming up the teetering oh-my-god-I'm-about-to-fall stuff, or else when we see her feet getting really close to the edge she's actually holding onto that rope (or something) and when we see her flailing around looking like she's on the verge of falling she's actually just in ordinary shoes--and maybe surrounded by a bunch of people waiting to catch her.
posted by yoink at 3:16 PM on August 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


I spent the entire video mortified at what she was doing to that piano.

I'd go the other way with it. That piano may no longer be much to look at but now it's got a story. It got stomped on by a knife-footed ballerina and still makes beautiful music. In addition to being an interesting metaphor that's pretty hardcore. I don't think there will be a shortage of people who want to play it.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 3:32 PM on August 30, 2013 [3 favorites]


So, I did ballet for 20 years. I had to stop watching about a minute into her dancing. If she had been dancing comfortably and making it look effortless, I wouldn't have had an issue. But I know how hard that is without the knives. And with them...I was too much on tenterhooks for her to enjoy any of this.
posted by chatongriffes at 3:36 PM on August 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


Yep, I'm a geek. Now I want to see a wushu martial arts movie or video game with a character outfitted thusly. Maybe her enemy isn't a piano, though.
posted by Foosnark at 3:37 PM on August 30, 2013


Not sure I wanted to see an actual non-fictional human doing this though. Ouch.
posted by Foosnark at 3:38 PM on August 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


Impressive feat, but too self-prepossessing and "precious". Just because one calls an acrobatic version of ballet, "art" gives it a special aura a "meaning"? I don't get it, and aside from being able to stand on knives attached to ballet shoes - and the "meaning" attached to the act - I don't see the difference between this and say, something like Parkour, knife throwing, or tightrope walking. Sure, there's the "symbolism" of the piano and the ballet shoes...and from that symbolism we find "meaning" etc. etc. yadda yadda. I hope no grant money was expended for this.
posted by Vibrissae at 3:51 PM on August 30, 2013


To me, "meaning" is what differentiates "art" from "hobby", and overuse of "quotation marks" impairs "readability".
posted by idiopath at 3:55 PM on August 30, 2013 [4 favorites]


Impressive feat

I see what you did there.
posted by zippy at 4:29 PM on August 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


Just because one calls an acrobatic version of ballet, "art" gives it a special aura a "meaning"?

Acrobatics aren't art? Ballet isn't art?

Sure, there's the "symbolism" of the piano and the ballet shoes...and from that symbolism we find "meaning" etc. etc. yadda yadda.

Yes, so.... why is that not art? I mean, fine, call it precious or pretentious or self-important or whatever if you like, but that doesn't disqualify it from the sphere.

I hope no grant money was expended for this.

Ah, this again. Well, don't lose any sleep: most grant money in the arts comes from private funders, not from the public sphere. Even the NEA will tell you that combined federal, state, and local investment typically constitutes about 13% of an average arts organization’s budget. (Further thoughts and figures on that.) And in any case, Javier Pérez is a Spanish artist with no American representation, so he wouldn't be eligible for any of that fussy money to begin with.
posted by mykescipark at 4:55 PM on August 30, 2013 [6 favorites]


This was an excellent demonstration of the art of video editing.
posted by mr_roboto at 5:05 PM on August 30, 2013


I found it rather disturbing. It was too easy to imagine that she was stuck up there, in pain and becoming frightened, while the unseen person cruelly withheld the rope she needed to get down.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 5:09 PM on August 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


Creepy. Not to nitpick, but it did seem obvious to me at times that she was being suspended while they filmed her lower half. You could see how she would unweight slightly from both feet in an impossible way.
posted by orme at 5:17 PM on August 30, 2013


Reminds me of Mark Morris' disdain of en pointe dancing, and his "The Hard Nut," where the only person who dances en pointe is the servant.
posted by xingcat at 5:50 PM on August 30, 2013


That was terrifying.
posted by mochapickle at 6:13 PM on August 30, 2013


His sculptures and drawings have a delicate horror to them too .. Good find!
posted by Fig at 6:45 PM on August 30, 2013


I watched this yesterday and it squicked me the fuck out.

Me too, but I couldn't stop thinking about it. It's very effective at unnerving the audience.
posted by homunculus at 6:46 PM on August 30, 2013


His sculptures and drawings have a delicate horror to them too .. Good find!

And his photos. More knives here (nsfw): En el filo
posted by homunculus at 6:48 PM on August 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


I hope no grant money was expended for this.

I hope that dancer didn't make rent because of this.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 7:34 PM on August 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


When dancing en pointe, it is impossible to maintain balance while looking at the ground. It just looked so contrived.
posted by JujuB at 9:55 PM on August 30, 2013


I hope no grant money was expended for this.

The real problem with is that the whole point of arts funding is that it means things lots of people don't like can exist. If we truly believe that things we don't like shouldn't be funded, we need to argue for an end to arts funding entirely.
posted by howfar at 7:45 AM on August 31, 2013 [3 favorites]


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