put your heart under your feet...and walk/ To Elu

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Performance Art

Language: Non-verbal
Company: Steven Cohen

An intense meditation on loss, grief and absence, following the death of Cohen’s partner and artistic collaborator, the choreographer Elu.

The work takes the form of a performance, projections and an installation of sculptural objects. A myriad pointe shoes – among them Elu’s, literally invoking his absence – are collaged together with found objects. The work first came into being as a performance piece, which debuted at the Montpellier Danse festival in June 2017. Cohen wrote: ‘When I told my 96-year-old surrogate mother Nomsa that my life partner Elu had died, and I asked her how I could continue life alone, she said: ‘put your heart under your feet … and walk!’

The objects are embedded with histories, ideologies, beliefs – a flagpole finial, Hitler paper puppets, vintage photographs of atrocities, icons and crucifixes, purses, sex toys, medical instruments, porcelain ornaments, feathers and hair; many of them, like the arms of chandeliers, taxidermied animal parts and model trees, recurrent images in Cohen’s artistic lexicon.

All photographs by Pierre Planchenault


One Comment

  1. theklinex 3 July 2018 at 1:32 pm

    I have never experienced anything as delicately disturbing before. How full loss can be.

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