Originally composed as a video work in 2017, the live version of With Inordinate Heaviness is conceived as a response to ‘As a butterfly folded in a caterpillar that will soon unfold’ – Nicoletti Contemporary’s current group exhibition that explores contemporary manifestations of the fold in sculpture, painting and photography. The performance reflects Wilson’s ongoing research on the materiality of dough and its relationship to the human body through movement and dance. Consisting of a single performer caressing and manipulating an elastic mass of fresh dough, With Inordinate Heaviness explores the heteromorphism of two living organisms, both taken in a slow but constant flow of movement engendered by the action of the other. The malleability of dough, generating ever-changing pleats and creases, evokes the folds and wrinkles of the human skin while driving the body into multiple contortions. Folded upon each other, simultaneously revealing and concealing their parts, the body and the dough enter in a graceful dance choreographed by gravity, interweaving presence and absence, materiality and memory through an interplay of sinuous gestures.
‘The ‘liveness’ of dough fascinates me. It is a biological material containing yeast and bacteria. It is never static, but consistently growing and morphing. It is a material that resists to hold shape – it relaxes, it gives over to gravity, it has no material memory. Alongside this, I am drawn to how the hands and body intuitively manipulate the dough. It bears the physical, sculptural traces of its maker.’