They are not very big. They are called Tennessee Walkers. They have unusual gaits and an ambivalent history. The Walker emerged as a breed in Tennessee in the nineteenth century. This horse, with its distinctive “running walk”, proved to be perfectly suited to people who wanted to sit comfortably in the saddle all day long: not just doctors on house visits but also planters and slave owners who rode long distances to inspect their “property”.
For her performance Frozen Dance artist Grace Schwindt has developed a choreography featuring eight glass sculptures, a snow-white Walker and a costumed rider. The eight sculptures are standing in a meadow and, as is often the case in Schwindt’s idiom, they suggest half-abstract and half-figurative forms, half human and half animal. They are real and yet unreal. Groups of people crowd around the sculptures, and then a white apparition emerges at the edge of the forest. A dance develops between the horse, rider, observer and sculpture, a dance between the work and its surroundings.
Frozen Dance is part of a series of theatrical performances featuring sculptures, video films, drawings, text and costumed figures that Schwindt has developed in recent years. In these performances, which are full of art-historical references, the line between fiction and reality disappears. The fragile body is simultaneously subject and object in her work. Schwindt’s poetic performances always have a socially engaged undertone, touching upon themes such as gender issues, racism, environmental pollution, capitalism and individualism.
Lucette ter Borg
Julius (studbook name: Royals out of the Blue)
Willem van Oijen