The Authority Inside is a choreographed video-performance, performed by Brendan Fernandes and ballet dancer, Aria Lara Wilton for the archival vault of the Justin and Elisabeth Lang Collection of African Art at the Agnes Etherington Art Gallery, Queens University, ON. The choreography is recorded entirely through the movement of cameras held by the dancers (Fernandes and Wilton ) as they perform in the archival space. Although this removes the visible presence of the performers, their bodies and performance is implied through the staccato camera motion of the ballet dancer on point, and in the slow panning of the shelves as Fernandes moves the vault's doors. This ambiguous relationship between the body and the archive suggests the equally complex relationship between the African art objects stored in the vault and the African bodies which once danced with them. In this way, Fernandes' disembodied animation of the archive, stands in poignant contrast with the motionlessness of the objects which rest within it.
Taking its camera close-up and handheld cues from horror films as much as from conceptual artists, Dan Graham and Yvonne Reiner, the Authority Inside interrogates the archive, searching for and questioning the colonial histories which brought these objects into its possession.
Performers, Brendan Fernandes and Aria Lara Wilton.
Director of Photography, Ryan Randall.
Editor, Erin Martell.
Sound Designer and Composition, Matthew Geldof.