River | Body | Walk: A Choreographic of Arrival

Rea Dennis


This paper draws on performance research project The River and the Immigrant Body (2014-16) which set out to inquire into the performance of walking by the river as an experience of arrival for the artist-researcher. It asks, how might walking frame notions of migration and displacement in a kind of choreographic experience of arriving? ‪Informed by autotopography, the research uses the natural forces that shape the river system and a poetics of flow to report on the way in which the river maps onto and through our bodily systems. It discusses the way in which these findings were transformed and shared through a performance installation within the Melbourne Immigration Museum shifting the constructed nature of the space toward a place of active embodiment for those who visit.



walking performance; autotopography; performing locatedness; art in the gallery; socially engaged art​

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