The Tate releases online-only performance by Congolese artist, Faustin Linyekula

The Tate has released an exclusive online-only dance performance by an artist whose show was cancelled because of coronavirus.

Faustin Linyekula, the Congolese choreographer and dance artist, was set to perform in the Tanks at Tate Modern from March 20-29.

His work was among those programmed for this year’s BMW Tate Live Exhibition: Our Bodies, Our Archives, alongside other performances by Okwui Okpokwasili and Tanya Lukin Linklater.

These were cancelled when Tate’s four sites closed but Linyekula and his collaborators who could make it to London worked with Tate to stage a one-off, site-specific work, performed to camera in the empty Tanks.

Now available to watch on the Tate website for free, My Body, My Archive is a performance reinvented for the particular situation of this exhibition and its closure to the public.

The performance combines carefully selected segments of his works Sur les traces de Dinozord 2006, Statue of Loss 2014, Batanaba 2017 and Congo 2019.

In this autobiographical performance, Linyekula questions ancient knowledge stored in the body against the relatively short written history found in books.

Companions – a number of his fellow dancers, actors and musicians – accompany him in this journey, helping him to tell stories and reactivate collective and personal memories.

Linyekula imagines his own artistic journey in terms of the circle and asserts that archives of the body cannot be experienced alone.

In the current climate, his work, which explores themes of connection, community and fragility of the body, has added poignancy and resonance.

The Tate galleries remain closed but visitors can still experience art on the Tate’s website and social media.

Other content includes artist interviews, in which viewers can step inside the studios of artists such as David Hockney and Billie Zanegwa and hear what inspires them, detailed looks at artworks in the Tate collection.

Detailed exhibition guides are available to download for free on exhibition web pages, including the recently opened Aubrey Beardsley and Andy Warhol exhibitions, and everyone can explore the online collection which includes 78,000 artworks, 4,000 artists and 22,000 archive items.

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