PentHouss 'Call To Arms', 2021 Single channel video 8 minutes 20 seconds Mirrors ring a claustrophobic space, fractalising it into infinity. Lights... Read More
PentHouss 'Call To Arms', 2021
Single channel video 8 minutes 20 seconds
Mirrors ring a claustrophobic space, fractalising it into infinity. Lights flash. Enter the riot police. Obscured behind darkened face shields, they menace. And then they begin to dance.
Conceived by London/Paris multidisciplinary collaborative PentHouss, Call to Arms (2021) is a video documenting the performance of the same name, originally carried out before a live audience, that blended movement, sound, light, and architecture in an immersive meditation on power, resistance, and control. Reacting to the crackdowns on people’s movements from the U.S. and the U.K. to Turkey and Hong Kong, where protests are met with overly-armored use of force, PentHouss artists Anna Lann, Helen Neven, and Yonathan Trichter worked with choreographer Ekin Bernay, and filmmaker Roy Brandys to mobilise a response.
Call To Arms appropriates the tools, movements, and uniforms used by systems of power themselves. Six dancers dressed in real riot police uniforms move through a series of crowd control tactics lifted directly from police training in a choreography that also draws from krumping - a dance style informed by street fighting. By leveraging the uniform as costume and turning the synchronized movements of militarized police forces into a kind of dance, PentHouss exposes the theatrics inherent to such shows of force, reflecting on the complex relationship between agents of power and the civilians they supposedly protect; on the instrumentalization of fear; on the duality of “them” and “us” at street level. Movement is dance; movement is assembly; movement is a call to arms.