Jeremy Shaw’s work explores altered states of consciousness and the cultural and scientific practices that aspire to, or attempt to map, transcendental experience. Often involving the documentation of physical and ritualistic activities of subculture, his videos, photographs, and installations offer propositions around the translation of experiences often considered untranslatable. In the exhibition Variation FQ, Jeremy Shaw premieres his latest work – a 16mm film that places the transgender vogue dancer, Leiomy Maldonado, within the aesthetics of Norman McLaren’s 1968 ballet film, “Pas de deux”.
Variation FQ seduces and confronts the viewer with the beguiling force of Leiomy Maldando’s highly dramatic and evolved voguing performance. Voguing is a primarily black and Latino, gay dance subculture that began in New York in the late 1960’s, and in spite of minor mainstream recognition, remains largely marginalized. Using high contrast black and white, step-and-repeat effects, and an original soundtrack composed by Shaw himself, the film amplifies and extends the unique, cathartic movements the protagonist’s dance, both graceful and violent. Variation FQ is a study of the co-evolution of subculture, gender, dance, and special effects.