Taking Two to Tango

August 7, 2008

By Stacey Ho

duet is born from reworking the same set of gestures over the span of three years. However, for Montreal artist Andrew Forster, throughout this process, the gestures have always retained their own power. For him, “You don’t ever forget where they come from.”

Taken from footage released to the media, duet echoes the movements of a young suicide bomber, stopped at an Israeli army checkpoint. The boy, following instructions shouted to him from off camera, removes first the bomb he is carrying, then his clothing.

We are presented with a 40-minute video with two performers. The first performer re-enacts the movements of the Palestinian boy, beginning with “very subtle gestures, facial gestures and twitches, [which] gradually builds.” Another performer reflects the heightening tension by initiating the movements of the first performer, then trying to stop them.

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