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James Sullivan

Dancing Figure, 2007 (I)

2007, Plaster, straw, steel and wood, 12"w x 21"h x 12"d

This piece initiated a series of figures that were derived from a small doll or figure of an Eagle Dancer out of the Taos Pueblo circa 1920. I saw the original figure in 2006, wanting to base a figure on its peculiar oppositional un-weighting of gesture, as well its mask-like face. Three figures were done in succession from my memory of the piece, creating a cinematic projection of the gesture—the “dancing” admittedly very subtle, more the beginning of a movement, but focused on the feet and hands. A fourth figure, using a wall mount instead of a standing/base arrangement, more carefully addressed the actual gesture of the original after I decided to send for a set of reproductions, revealing the actual dance to be far more extreme than my memory of it. In 2008/09 a final small figure BN Dancing reflected my interest in the apparent relationship of the original series’ gesture with early videos by Bruce Nauman, as well as a large (life-sized) figure based on Dancing Figure I. The dancing figures I-IV were exhibited in 2007 at Conduit Gallery, Dallas, Tx.


James Sullivan - Dancing Figure, 2007 (I)

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