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