In situ performance for the former Chandoline hydroelectric power station
As a dancer and choreographer, Isabel Lewis develops a sound practice as part of a strategy of response to space, architecture and the moment within it. She works with the "biosocial environment".
In her improvisation for voice and electronics, she produces an ambient yet rhythmic sound, nourished by a spectrum that can be very wide, from medieval chamber music to rap to field recordings. These fragments are superimposed, reorganized, melodious or distorted, and further woven together with gestural moments.
Isabel Lewis' performance is designed to be felt, experienced. In a deconstructed scenic landscape that eludes theatrical presentation, the artist introduces herself as the hostess of the evening, inviting those present to find their position, to move, to hum if they wish.
Born in 1981 in the Dominican Republic
Lives in Berlin
Isabelle Lewis has an academic background in literature, dance and philosophy. In New York, she danced for various choreographers before starting to develop her own projects.
Based in Berlin since 2009, Isabel Lewis has developed a performative practice that blends voice, dance and music. She has DJ experience and samples sound arrangements incorporating a wide variety of material, which she mixes and weaves together, improvising according to the place and moment shared.
She tends to do away with the spectacular, theatrical effect in order to build a different kind of exchange with those present, without imposing new constraints. Her aim is to create the conditions for an experience of physical well-being, whether working alone or with other performers.
Isabel Lewis is interested in the aesthetics of the social encounter. She creates events she calls occasions, and calls herself the hostess. They can involve all the senses, including the sense of smell, with fragrances composed in collaboration with Norwegian chemist and odor researcher Sissel Tolaas.
While these performances are unique moments, linked to the site in question, she also develops long-term projects. Such is the case with O.C.E.A.N.I.C.A . (Occasions Creating Ecologically Attuned Narratives in Collective Action)" (2021), an exhibition-performance and experimental pedagogy project commissioned by TBA21 (Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary). A first part was developed in Venice in 2021 around the idea of human potential to become oceanic by listening to the language of the ocean. In Cordoba, in autumn 2023, Isabel Lewis' research focuses on the development of protocols for listening to river speech.