The Design Plot
Publishers: Perimeter Books, Author(s): Shelley Lasica, Zoe Theodore, 2022, ISBN: 9780648680178, Format: Softcover
Over a career spanning more than three decades, Shelley Lasica’s practice has placed the creative and processional machinations of dance and choreography centre stage. Skirting histories of visual, spatial and performance art as closely as she has embraced dance and choreography, the Melbourne artist’s propositions test the limits of the mediums in which they operate, forever expanding contexts and posing questions of just what dance is and what it can be as art.
Lasica’s debut book The Design Plot – which features texts by project producer Zoe Theodore, curator Pip Wallis and writer Megan Payne – acts as both documentation of Lasica’s ever-evolving practice and a wider vehicle for exploring the relationship between the body and architectural space, imagination and memory. Tracing ten iterations of the collaborative dance work from which the book takes its name, The Design Plot is at once organised and amorphous in its bearings – image sequences fracturing and folding in on themselves amidst a measured, cumulative flow of gestures, people, movements and architectures.
Like the performances themselves – which were conceived with dancers Ellen Davies, Timothy Harvey, Louella Hogan, Daniel Newell, Lilian Steiner and Jo White – the book is just another iteration of The Design Plot’s ongoing process and self-interpretation. ‘Each time The Design Plot is performed,’ writes Zoe Theodore in her essay for the book, ‘it is durational or cumulative, as it hosts a collective conversation that continually questions: What is the work? Where is the work? What happens to the work after occupying this architecture of time and space?’
For more than thirty years, Shelley Lasica has pushed the confines of dance, choreography and performance. Her practice is defined by an enduring interest in the context and situations of presenting choreography. She regularly collaborates with visual artists, including Tony Clark, Helen Grogan, Anne Marie May, Callum Morton and Kathy Temin, in order to create dialogues between different modes and means of presentation. Lasica’s choreographic works have been shown nationally and internationally within both visual art and theatre contexts, including: Melbourne Festival; National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne; Chunky Move, Melbourne; Artspace, Sydney; Centre Nationale de la Danse, Paris; Siobhan Davies Studios, London; Dance Massive, Melbourne; Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne; Murray White Room, Melbourne; and Anna Schwartz Gallery, Melbourne. She has been invited to research and develop new work through residencies at Gertrude Contemporary, Melbourne; Artspace, Sydney; Lucy Guerin Inc, Melbourne; The Substation, Melbourne; and PFERD, Vienna, Austria.