In Lessness, still quorum, Powell-Williams reanimates the tarot as a three-dimensional space, exploring the encounter between action, storytelling, symbolism and magical thinking. Sculptural forms are configured and reconfigured, composing the architectural structures found in the major arcana of the artist’s tarot cards. Metamorphosing between each card, dancers pierce and divide the space in a choreography inspired by spiritualist diagrams.
The performance follows Powell-Williams’ residency at the Warburg Institute London, in which, using the methodology of Aby Warburg’s Mnemosyne Atlas, the artist generated a tarot deck. Idiosyncratically, this tarot maps the depiction of archetypes and symbols from classical antiquity to present day whilst drawing influence from the geometric, biomorphic and symbolic language of occult practices.
For the artist, viewers’ attempt to find meaning in these forms takes precedence over any meaning they might actually find.
'Lessness' is the name of a short story by Samuel Beckett from 1969, in which the sequence of sentences was determined by pulling each one out of a container. Lessness is thus the shrinking of the bewildering number of sequences there could have been, while a quorum is a minimum number of bodies required of a collective to pass judgment.
Supported by Arts Council, England, Warburg Institute, London and Bosse and Baum Gallery, London