Dancing with the Dead

As part of my role leading Antidote Projects, I worked closely with the team at the Lock-Up to curate ‘Dancing with the Dead’, which also included negotiating and funding select artists to make commissioned works.

Client: The Lock-Up Artspace, Newcastle
Role: Curator
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The Details


Presented in partnership with the Lock-Up, Newcastle

June 20 – August 9, 2020

Named after the infamous Madagascan/Malagasy ritual of Famadihana, Dancing with the Dead presents ten National and International contemporary artists whose narratives illuminate the convergence of memory and corporeality within a larger constellation of death and its surrounding multitudes — physical death, spiritual death or cultural death. Featured artists include: Khadim Ali, Soojin Chang, Dr. Fiona Foley, Dr. Mojgan Habibi, Pieter Hugo, Lindy Lee, Pierre Mukeba, Sarker Protick, Stanislava Pinchuk and Jemima Wyman.

The traditional Madagascan process sees families and loved ones exhuming bodies from tombs, carefully re-wrapping, then lovingly dancing with their corpses. Dancing with the Dead takes this context as a point of discussion to give light to the intersection of death, society, intimacy and culture; and to furthermore approach death with a stronger sense of nuance, allowing the potential to view aspects of dying, regeneration and endings as transgressive metaphors. It is sombre, yes — but it is also transformative, let us re-imagine death.

Dancing with the Dead presents a timely and deeply meaningful proposition for sharing in a communal and cathartic activity, that shines light on the paradoxically unique and universal experiences of death and endings. Each artist in this exhibition brings a specific layer, texture and approach to this collective dance. See more here.


IMAGE CREDITS: (FEATURED IMAGE) Lindy Lee, Unencumbered, 2019. Flung bronze, 120cm diameter. Courtesy of the Artist and Sullivan + Strumpf Gallery.
(IMAGES ABOVE) Installation Photography by Fourth Street Studio.

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