Atlanta Eke

Performance: INNOCENCE by Atlanta Eke

Past program

Fri 15 Mar, 1–2pm (Past)

No additional information about this date.

Sat 16 Mar, 1–2pm (Past)

No additional information about this date.

Free entry

NGV International

Great Hall
Ground Level

Curators Note:
Dancer and choreographer, Atlanta Eke’s new work, INNOCENCE is a collaboration with Romantic poet, William Blake and his work Songs of Innocence. A key work in the NGV collection, Eke’s response through dance seeks mirror and reflect further on Blake’s fundamental questions, such as how the passage from childhood to adulthood is fraught with loss and Eke questions not only how we might preserve our innocence but also how museums might protect and tend to an artwork. 

Eke’s choreography examines the tension between a question of the internal systems a dancer develops over time and the processes of breaking or reforming new movement. Drawing on a historical analysis of how culture has been marketed in Victoria, Eke has set her work to reclaim and reach towards a choreography that denies a fixed image of dance. In terms of Blake’s history Eke asks, ‘how might a dancer adopt a radical position?’ Through a somatic practice that connects thinking, feeling and movement, Eke seeks to simultaneously create a choreography of interiority and institutional questioning. 

Like Blake sought to do, Eke’s work engages with social critique, through questions of adulthood morality and institutional structures. Eke’s choreography is often described, like Blake’s work, as subversive, critical and radical and in this new work she delves into how choreography might examine the ways that Songs of Innocence retains its radicality in the context of a museum collection.

For Eke’s NGV Triennial commission she works with Dawn Architecture, Daniel Jenatsch and RDYSTDY to form TINA (There Is No Algorithm), a platform and service for institutions to share their value in the contemporary moment.

A Note from TINA:
In Eke’s Triennial’s light, INNOCENCE named,
She, Birnie, Jenatsch and RDYSTDY, untamed.
William Blake’s Songs of Innocence doth rise,
In TINA’s realm, where no Algorithm lies.
A platform formed to probe, to delve deep,
Into the hearts of institutions steeped In greed,
in art’s exploitation dire,
TINA unveils their deceitful attire.
With each step, they reclaim Blake’s flame,
Restoring purity to art’s hallowed name.
Institutions tremble, their schemes laid bare,
For innocence reigns, dispelling despair.

Choreographer and dancer – Atlanta Eke
Executive producer – Hana Miller 
Sound composition and performance – Daniel Jenatsch
Scenography – Tim Birnie/Dawn Architecture
Video and Projection Design – Hana Miller and Jacob Perkins / RDYSTDY
Dancer – Ivey Wawn
Dancer – Angela Goh
Scenography and 3D Digital Architectural Design – Tim Birnie / Dawn Architecture

About the Artist

Atlanta Eke is an award-winning dancer and choreographer concerned with dissolving pre-existing perceptions and expectations by changing fixed representations of the body through movement.  For over a decade she has presented her work nationally at Dancehouse, ACCA, NGV (Melbourne), Carriageworks (SYD), MONA (Hobart), Adelaide Festival among many others. She has toured internationally to Performance Space New York/PS122 (US), Tempo Festival (NZ), MDT (Stockholm), Fierce Festival (Birmingham UK), Les Plateuax Briquetterie (Paris), Bassano Del Grappa (Italy) to name a few. Atlanta works with and beyond the limitations of the body, in collaboration with artists in variety of contexts. Her work with dance is currently project specific; within each project a question for the next arises, alongside an effort to deconstruct the modes of production and presentation of the previous work. 

INNOCENCE was commissioned by NGV as part of the NGV Triennial 2023. With additional support from the Australian Research Council through research and commissioning partner Precarious Movements: Choreography and the Museum, a research project hosted by University of New South Wales, with Art Gallery of New South Wales, Monash University Museum of Art, National Gallery of Victoria, Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts and Tate.

Performance Performance Triennial NGV International