Inspired by the notion of the human body as drawing tool – and more specifically, as compass – Zirkel (which means compass in German) is an ongoing and open-ended collaborative project by Mexican artists Vanessa Enríquez and Ilya Noé.
The artists experiment with sequences of circular bodily movements using chalk on blackboards. The possibility to erase their gestural inscriptions allows them to investigate freely and learn from the process through a continuous response to each other and the material, resulting in a graphical grammar of motion and notation that continues to be developed, re-calibrated and adapted as new types of movements are introduced into their shared drawing practice.
Through the methodical exploration of angles, rotations, extents and limitations of different joints, and the repetition of specific gestures and sequences, the artists are able to trace and overlay their particularities and differences, as well as locate and measure the subtle variations of their movements and positions across time. In other words, the artists become compasses, and their resulting drawings, videos, photographs, notations and working notes become diagnostic maps.
In the context of their exhibition at the AC Institute, Zirkel (1+2) will present a selection from their first two series of experiments.