Movement Exercises

2017 - 2022 | TRT 01:03:49

Video Details
2020 | 00:16:44 | United States | English | Color | Stereo | 16:9 | 4K video

Video Data Bank is pleased to present the VDB TV program Movement Exercises. The program features filmmaker-choreographer Sarah Friedland's feature-length trilogy Movement Exercises, which deconstructs and revises the choreographic vocabularies of exercises practiced across home, work, and school spaces. The trilogy consists of three short films: Home Exercises (2017), Drills (2020), and Trust Exercises (2022). Movement Exercises examines the premise and promise of the exercise: that by moving together, repeatedly, we both create and recreate the social body.

This VDB TV program is presented in conjunction with Friedland's participation in the Visual Studies Workshop (VSW) Project Space Residency. This month, the Movement Exercises trilogy will be featured in the VSW Salon's multimedia installation Social Guidance, alongside resonant works from their archives, curated by Friedland. The installation will be on view from May 9-23 at VSW's microcinema.

Movement Exercises is also on view as part of the Bronx Biennial Bronx Calling: The Sixth AIM Biennial through June 16. Bronx Calling is curated by Eileen Jeng Lynch and features 53 artists who explore issues related to race, gender, class, sexual orientation, age, ethnicity, religion, and nationality as a means of contending with colonial histories and imagining speculative futures. 

In our 2022 interview, Friedland shared about what she calls "embodied interviewing" in Movement Exercises:

"Over the course of making the Movement Exercises trilogy I’ve been experimenting with transforming the documentary interview into a means of dance-making. Rather than asking a series of questions that are verbally answered on-camera, I ask my collaborators off-camera about how their bodies move and feel in various social choreographies they participate in. I ask them to not only describe them to me, but to show me: to dance or physicalize them. I then mirror back the movement to them, and we pass it back and forth, accumulating and shaping these found movements that are then re-performed for camera with varying degrees of fidelity to their original iteration. Trust Exercises is the first film where I tried to stage a version of the embodied interview process on camera through a workshop with professional dancers and through a scene that imagines bodywork itself as a type of interview between sensing limbs."

Read more in VDB Asks... Sarah Friedland.