One of the most provocative choreographers of our time, Alexandra Bachzetsis (born 1974, Swiss-Greek) draws from histories of art, music, cinema, popular culture and fashion, and projects them onto the body. Through this method of citation, Bachzetsis considers how our bodies are used and can be activated in today’s increasingly polarizing discussions around identity and body politics.
In her newly commissioned work Chasing a Ghost, which premieres at the Art Institute of Chicago, Bachzetsis continuously creates a double—a double body, a double sound, a double space, a double image. Challenging the choreographic archetype of the duet, Chasing a Ghost stages these doubles within a spectrum of violence and desire. Central to this duality is the notion of the uncanny: an estranging phenomenon in a seemingly ordinary context, but also a potential act of transgression as our repressed impulses and subconsciousness may at any time rupture into our reality.
Chasing a Ghost encompasses a choreography for five dancers, including the artist herself, an original score performed live by two pianists, and a stage setting that shifts between movement and moving image. These elements are in constant relationship to each other, but the connections between them are intentionally disturbed. Bachzetsis transforms the duet into an unsettling image, the movement between two bodies a distressing and unexpected occurrence, a perpetual folie-à-deux that challenges how we look at ourselves and others.
Chasing a Ghost will be performed:
The University Club of Chicago, in collaboration with the Art Institute, will present an additional solo performance by Alexandra Bachzetsis on November 3 at 6:00 p.m., entitled Private: Wear a Mask When You Talk to Me. This one-time performance will be presented at the University Club’s iconic Cathedral Hall at 76 East Monroe St. location, one block from the Art Institute of Chicago. Reservations are required.
Chasing a Ghost is the third installment of Iterations, the Art Institute’s multiyear series of new performance commissions.
Iterations is generously supported by the Society for Contemporary Art, with additional support for Chasing a Ghost provided by the Goethe-Institut, Chicago, the Consulate General of Switzerland in Chicago, and the Evening Associates of the Art Institute of Chicago.