Interview with Jasmin Vardimon about Maze at Turner Contemporary

Interview with Jasmin Vardimon about Maze at Turner Contemporary

Maze is an immersive new performance presented by Jasmin Vardimon Company and Turner Contemporary. Choreographed by critically-acclaimed director Jasmin Vardimon, with collaboration from Ron Arad and artist Guy Bar-Amotz, the piece is an immersive performance that asks audiences to choose a “light” or “dark” path. We speak to Vardimon about her approach to the creation of the work and her interest in the individual observer.

A: Maze invites the visitor to immerse themselves within the walls of the man-made maze. What themes are you seeking to discuss in this new piece?
JV: For a long time I have been interested in exploring perspective and how as an individual observer it can change the information we receive. I also want to create a project that explores details as information on the performer’s skin, something you can only see from very close proximity. I am interested in putting the audience in the position of a viewer who can choose where to look, but also in which the reality keeps changing. Consequently, each individual perceives a different reality depending on the time, location and path they chose. The collaboration with Turner Contemporary explores the notion of risk. I find risk to be a very important ingredient and I was very curious to explore this as part of Maze.

A: Upon entering, visitors must choose between the light path or the dark path. Do you feel you are influencing their decision, given the assumptions that come with the contrast of light/dark?
Along the way each of the audience members will have many decisions to make – where to look, who to follow, where to enter. It is very different than being a passive audience member. Maze is all about the options and the decisions one will take.

A: What made you want to work with Ron Arad and Guy Bar Amotz?
Guy is a visual artist who I’ve been collaborating with for a very long time on many different projects. We decided to approach Ron, with his unique talent and experience in both design and architecture. I was curious about what the conversation might bring and it definitely surprised and evoked new ideas.

A: What made you want to create this multi-sensory exhibition as opposed to your previous staged performances?
I wanted to create a work that would provide the audience with an experience that was as close as possible to being on stage with the company dancers . I was interested in letting the audience explore the performance, the architecture and the texture in a physical way, whilst also being able to sense, touch and smell the experience .

A: Can we look forward to any more collaborations with Turner Contemporary in the future?
Absolutely. We are already planning to be involved in some way in the Risk exhibition Turner Contemporary are presenting in the autumn. For me, it is challenging and exciting to work outside of my comfort zone and to be surprised by what comes up. This project brought the challenge / opportunity to create 360 degrees of viewing possibilties. You can see the actions through holes / cracks, from underneath or above, from distances of a few centimetres or meters away. Every perspective provides different experiences, which is something I’m keen to carry on and investigate further in the future.

Jasmin Vardimon: Maze, 11 April, Margate Winter Gardens, Margate. Courtesy of Turner Contemporary.

1. Maze: Immerse yourself in the unknown… Jasmin Vardimon, Turner Contemporary. Photography: Ben Harries.