A 2,000 sq m labyrinth made from newspapers has been created for a new production which explored space, surveillance and detective novels
Alternative dance troupe New Movement Collective has created a 2,000 sq m labyrinth made from newspaper screens in a derelict site in Brighton.
The installation recently hosted the group’s performance of Casting Traces, which explores ideas of space and surveillance with reference to Paul Auster’s existential detective stories, The New York Trilogy.
The newspaper labyrinth occupies a derelict flower market in Brighton, soon to be demolished as part of Brighton University’s £100m expansion by ShedKM and developer Cathedral Group, and is the latest in a string of unusual spaces occupied by the dance group. Previous performances have taken place in a refurbished bus and coach factory in Shepherd’s Bush and in a disused brewery in Copenhagen.
Elin Eyborg graduated in architecture from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts and is responsible for the architectural elements of the New Movement Collective’s performances. She spoke of the difficulties the group faced in bringing its performance to the site.
‘The space was a very challenging one to work with,’ she said. ‘It’s a dirty, run-down building, and there is a very weak roof structure which could let the rain in which might have damaged the paper screens,’ she said. ‘Whereas previous spaces had more character and internal structure, [in Brighton] we just had a skeleton frame to work with.’
She added: ‘There were also the challenges of the people and organisations we need to work with, those who wouldn’t let us build anything permanent or drill into the existing structure.’
As well as the paper labyrinth, which audience members have to navigate, Casting Traces includes film installations which relay images of visitors onto screens in an effort to explore the idea of surveillance in modern cities.
‘There are hidden cameras in the maze, and audience members see themselves being projected on the screens, which links to the narrative of the New York Trilogy and the idea of never being safe,’ said Eyborg.
The advantages of surveillance technology are also explored. Eyborg added: ‘Some of the film recordings highlight other parts of the space, aiding people as they navigate the maze.’
Casting Traces was performed at Circus Street Market in Brighton from 28-30 August, and will move to Winchester Guildhall from 23-25 October.