Pauline Curnier Jardin: Bodies Extra-ordinaires
If I Can’t Dance, I Don’t Want To Be Part Of Your Revolution
Westerdok, Amsterdam
27 October 2021 – 9 February 2022

 The project was held at the If I Can’t Dance Studio, both at Westerdok and online, for a dramaturgy of activities, including a research display in their library, film screenings and a digital studio project inspired by the viscous filmic work of Pauline Curnier Jardin.

Departing from the artist’s somatic world of martyred saints, secreting figures and anatomic caves, we embark on an exploration of the potentials of transmuting bodies and body parts, human and more-than-human, in cinematic language. Holy relics, laughter, cut-off breasts, wounds and the collective bodies of processions and carnivals are all elements encountered in this space. Starting from the performativity of body elements in Curnier Jardin’s practice, this research space presents films, ephemera, photographs and objects which speak to bodies as productive and unproductive sites of oppression, regeneration and transformation.

This ‘body of work’ grew and morphed in the following months in tandem with the screening of 3 feature films. The project ran in conjunction with the exhibition Pauline Curnier Jardin: Waiting for Agatha, Sebastian and the Rest of the Holy Children — Unfolding A Filmic Research at INDEX, Stockholm.

The project was curated by Anik Fournier (Archive and Research Curator, If I Can’t Dance) and Giulia Damiani (independent researcher, curator and dramaturg) with assistance by Naomi Collier Broms. 

Photos by Marcel de Buck