Stefanski_choke_00

choke (2017), installation view, l’étrangère gallery, London, 11.2017-01.2018, photo Andy Keate

choke (2017)

video, 7’15”, HD, colour, no sound, looped , DOP: Mikołaj Syguda, participants: Mateusz Korcz, Andrzej Piasecki, ed. 3+2AP

Joseph Constable: In choke (2017) two intertwined bodies demonstrate their own form of choreography. For this work, Stefański filmed two Jiu-Jitsu fighters performing a routine and subsequently manipulated the footage through a slow-motion playback. The result is as much of an intimate analysis of these entangled bodies as it is a documentation of their choreographed performance. The human body is pictured as an undiscovered, mysterious continent, a series of terrains and textures that are coursed over by the camera lens. Stefański’s filmic analysis of the Jiu-Jitsu fighters also highlights the at times uncomfortable proximity between acts of touch that are violent and those that are eroticised. This ambiguous line is visualised through the subtle energy of each muscular movement, bulging vein or skin ripple; the almost free-floating unison of these two bodies in space confuses the autonomous boundaries of each fighter’s body, as they become a single, shifting entity. The ambivalent nature of the figures’ interaction is not simply a question of the visual equivalence between acts of violence and sexual intimacy, but rather the film nods to a deeper understanding of how power can function within different physical dynamics, be it those of a Jiu-Jitsu fight or of a copulating couple. By abstracting both the movement and the context of his subjects, Stefański suggests that our continuous transitions from interior sensation to external expression are always caught up within a certain power dynamic.

Stefanski_choke_02

choke (2017), film still

Stefanski_choke_03

choke (2017), film still

Stefanski_choke_04

choke (2017), film still

the third pierspillchokerestraintbrave or stupidblow outdo-overemptybottles