Infinite Unbalancing Directions

SUR:biennial exhibition, Southern Geometries: Contemporary Non-Objective Art and the Latin American Diaspora
Cerritos College Art Gallery, curated by James MacDevitt. August 26 – October 4, 2019

Made specifically for the 5th SUR:biennial at Cerritos College Art Gallery, Infinite Unbalancing Directions is part of an ongoing feminist judo intervention exploring judo principles as a way to think through the current onslaught of disturbing socio-political challenges. The work specifically reimagines the judo concept of kuzushi, or unbalancing, multiplied, as a means to resist and redirect oppositional force. Techniques in judo are often seen as falling within eight possible unbalancing vectors, yet it is also understood that one must quickly adapt to an opponent’s movements in real time, making the actual application of possibilities infinite in variation. The exterior display gallery featured eight used judo mats from the Bunasawakai Dojo, painted with the instructional diagrammatic illustration of the 8 kuzushi vectors. On the window itself, part of the diagram is duplicated and elaborated, such that a viewer walking the periphery of the display will experience a destabilizing parallax effect.

The performance featured the artist in collaboration with her judo Sensei, alongside three other performers in the installation space. Using the parallax effect of the existing installation and the fragmentation of time and movement implied with the addition of strobe lighting, the performance hyperbolized the unbalancing core of the performers’ movements. The audience viewed the performance from outside the building, with the lines of the installation adding further layers of kinetic sensation.

Judokas: Sensei Goya (3rd Dan Black Belt Kodokan Judo) and Mariángeles Soto-Diaz (Third World Brown Belt). Performers Jessica Ramirez, Melissa Rocha, Christina Segovia. Lighting by Jake Rhodes.