Feromona – multimedia performance

Trailer de performance:

PHEROMONE / feromona from Cristian Tonhaiser on Vimeo.

idea y direcíón: Uta Bekaia, Levan Mindiashvili
fotografía y motion design: Cristian Tonhaiser
vestuario y sonido original: Uta Bekaia
visuals y video: Cristian Tonhaiser, Levan Mindiashvili
camera: Fermin Eloy Acosta
performers: Carolina Arandia, Clara Torres, Lucia Soto
voz: Clara Torres
coreografía: Carolina Arandia

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fotos por Cristian Tonhasier


The smell of attraction
by Carla Harms for Juanele

A pheromone is a secreted or excreted chemical factor that triggers a social response in members of the same species.

Thus begins the text for Uta Bekaia and Levan Mindiashvili‘s multimedia performance called Pheromone, which I attended Friday night at Laguanacazul gallery in San Telmo. I don’t know if it was all the pheromones being secreted, but the performance was definitely charged with something. I only wished it would have lasted longer.

I arrived just in time to rush downstairs to the hushed gallery space, where Bekaia was leading out two people covered in black cloths and arranging them on the stage to look a bit like stones. With a background of video and photographs being projected on two walls, an eerie atmosphere began to fill the room. A woman dressed an elaborate black costume looking something like a cross between a Chinese empress and a bride slowly made her way to the stage. The first noise in the show came from her mouth, and the sound was otherworldly.

Singing in a mysterious language and using her voice to call out to the two black shapes lying on stage, Clara Torres bsolutely stole the show. Her voice and her presence had me at the edge of my seat, and things got even more interesting when two insect-like dancers in sparkling black cat suits that covered each of them from head to toe emerged from their covers as if breaking out of two wombs.

At the indecipherable instructions of Torres, the two interacted with one another, their movements strange, yet sensual, telling some sort of a love story without words. Watching the performance, which included sound and various projections, felt a bit like being on another planet. I couldn’t take my eyes off the elaborate alien-like costumes, the creations of Bekaia — a costume and fashion designer among many other things.

It seemed like the performance was over so soon, and I, like many of the audience members sat in a stunned silence when it was all over. Chatting with Mindiashvili after the performance, he explained that the project stemmed from he and Bekaia wanting to create something that explored the mystery of their own relationship. These two visual artists felt like they somehow knew each other before they even met. They explain this mystery through the chemical substance of the pheromone, which can act outside the body to influence behaviors. In Pheromone, the performance, it becomes “a metaphor of love and its biological proof.”

Don’t miss the second and last showing this Sunday night.

Uta Bekaia and Levan Mindiashvili
Sunday, June 26th, 6 PM
Laguanacazul Galería de Arte
Defensa 677, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Photo by Andy Donohoe

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