Bodies in Urban Spaces is a rare and unique performance where dancers move throughout a city and organize their bodies into the nooks and crannies of public spaces. Created by Austria-based artist Cie Willi Dorner, the ephemeral series produces a visually tense relationship between people and their everyday surroundings. Since 2007, the artist has produced performances in Paris, Austria, Portugal, the United States, the UK, Germany, and Spain, to name a few, where groups of dancers travel throughout city streets and occasionally adopt choreographed poses that they hold for just a few moments before moving on to the next place.
Through awkward arrangements, Dorner finds collaborations between bodies and spaces. In each piece, the human form can be viewed as an object which becomes the sculpture itself. Thus, Dorner’s work challenges traditional forms of sculpture and encourages viewers to reconsider their urban environments. When passing by such odd formations, people can’t help but stop and think about how and why the forms interact with and change the architecture.
Dorner says, “By placing the bodies in selected spots, the interventions provoke a thinking process and produce irritation. Passers by, residents, and audience are motivated and prompted to reflect on their urban surrounding and on their own movement, behavior, and habits.”