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Meta Drcar and Dori Deng

The Slovenian and Chinese duo prep up for their show at ZOOArt 2010 in Italy....

The beguiling work Central Saint Martin duo of Slovenian born Meta Drcar and Chinese born Dori Deng have been causing quite a buzz of late. Collaborating on beautifully engaging performance based installations combining contemporary dance, architecture and expanded cinema works since 2009, the duos most recent ongoing project series Measuring which exploring the relations between space, time and the body is unfolding steadily. With upcoming shows at ZOOArt 2010 in Italy in July and performance at Holster Projects next week, we found a few minutes to speak to Drcar and Deng about their work.

Dazed Digital: How did you start collaborating together?
Dori Deng: In college we were in the same class and in the final year of our course we were one of a few students concentrating on performance art and who had researched dance theatre. One afternoon we went to an empty studio space tried to learn about the space by using our own bodies, therefore trying to recognize the space in a different way. We found it very interesting that we can use our bodies to make things connect together in an empty space, which these became the first step in creating our Measuring series.
Meta Drcar: It is great to collaborate especially in performance art as there are so many elements to think of, lighting, sound and choreography. I find it very helpful and productive to have someone to share my ideas with and to get a fresh opinion on them, as sometime working on your own it is easy to get stuck within creating work and just a small judgment can push your idea and practice further.
Dori Deng: I agree! I think collaboration for us is really about the discussion and development of ideas for the performances and then working together to make it happen in the most efficient way possible.

DD: In your most recent Measuring series there seems to be a focus on movement and space, has that been integral to your corpus till now?
Meta Drcar: Yes, Measuring is a series of live performances that explores the relationships between the space and different medias such as the body, visuals and sound. The intention of finding these relationships is to change the dimension and the proportions of the space, therefore pushing our assumptions or expectations of the experience of the space through live performance.
Dori Deng: And the consideration of architecture is quite essential. The body, the light and the space are the components in the architecture. To play with these three elements as different dimensions therefore changing the definition of the space is very exciting.  

DD: Who would you say are your influences?
Dori Deng: I get influenced a lot by Malcolm LeGrice and Guy Sherwin’s film based performance works. I love the way that they used time based media to create live performance. Meta and I share quite a lot of interest in choreography, for example we admire the likes of Siobhan Davies, William Forsythe, Xavier LeRoy...
Meta Drcar: Yes, since my inspiration mainly comes from artists working with live performance and contemporary dance, I get influenced by artists like them as well as the likes of Matteo Fargion, Pierre Rigal and Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker. Most of the time I find inspiration in dance theatre and I am interested in the difference between live performance art being experienced in a traditional theatre to a more contemporary approach where performance is taken to a gallery space or more site specific.

DD: Did the infrastructure of Central Saint Martins inform your practice at all?
Meta Drcar: It is a very self-directed course, it is really up to each individual to get what you can out of the course. I’ve been working with all mediums during the course- painting, sculpture, video art and in the end found myself in performance art. It is the medium that satisfies my needs as an artist more.
Dori Deng: There is not much restriction or limitation to what you want to practice. You are forced to find your own interests and medium. I have been using projection in my work since the beginning and those three years in university helped me figure out where I wanted to take and develop that medium.

Drcar and Deng shall be showing at ZOOart 2010 - ZOOlive event in Fresia Gardens, Cuneo, Italy on July 15th. They will also be performing at the relaunch of British Creative Exchange at Holster Projects, 81 Westbourne Park Road on Friday June 11th.