HooP (2010) is a work by video artist Kate Walker, made in collaboration with the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered) community in Nelson. It documents a public event staged by the artist, where members of this community participated in a mass hula hooping event. This followed weeks of practice, and the formation of a diverse and inter-generational group of keen participants.
Swaying hips, circular rhythms and shuffling feet resound in the film. Moments of pathos, seriousness and vulnerability are inevitably punctured by the innate humour of the mass hula event. Both the euphoria of collective action, and more personal enjoyment is focused on, and the tempo builds through the repeat of movement. This work is about the body’s physicality, communal activity, and visual spectacle.
This artwork seeks to confound the stereotypes of queer communities. Is there some purpose to the action? The usual reasons the queer community might gather are to organise for political or social action, or to socialise together without a sense of being 'other'. Something different is happening here. The history of video art as a document of community based action, as well as its relationship to the artist’s body and to performance is acknowledged and re-evaluated in this work, which is at once a community, social networking and art project.
Kate Walker’s (MFA, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, 2005) practice encompasses painting, drawing and video work, within which narrative devices are used to explore contemporary social issues. Walker’s work has been shown in New Zealand, the United States, Spain, Italy, Ireland and in the Netherlands. Her work can be seen at www.katewalker.co.nz. The artist has recently moved to Idaho and is currently teaching at Boise State University.
7 March – 3 April 2011
Courtesy of the artist