Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Exorcise that Yoga

Yoga Exorcism  (Brosie, 2013) was created in response to the book Wisconsin Death Trip by Michael Lesy.  The book is filled with black and white photographs of people, landscapes, and homes in Black River Falls, WI during the 19th century. The photographs depict realities of the time period and location. However, not everything may be as it appears in the photos. The blurry faces, awkward framing, and the strange photographer's vision present a mysterious, yet appealing quality to the book's themes. 

Michael Lesy, 1973

Yoga is typically thought of as a serene and pure practice alike the landscapes, whereas mud, although it is a natural material, is filthy and almost sinful similar to the presence of death and blurry faces in the photos. The video starts off in the mud and ends with the sun salutations sequence used in yoga practices.  Inclusion of both was important to parallel the mixture of appealing reality and gloomy reality displayed in Wisconsin Death Trip. The "exorcism" happens as the mud, the sin, being taken away from the yoga practices, the pure. However, the end sequences of the people bent over and dangling their arms radiate a degree of creepiness and unnatural human movement qualities. 

Darkness and realism is never able to be fully separated from the light and "beautiful." 

Repetition of short clips and people's awkward actions in my film mirrored repetition in the book. There is a very small repetition of dead baby pictures and older women portraits. The repetitions were not of the same image, but very similar images such as family portraits or pictures of people's valued possessions (bed, horse, house, etc).

I started with a film that starts out as a yoga practice turned into a mud fight and ends again in yoga practice. I got about 2 hours worth of film after two sessions and I did not want to leave a minute of it out. In order to demonstrate the dark depths that could be found in the playful footage, I completely reversed the video. This resulted in odd contortions of people's movements and reactions with one another.


  1. You video is really interesting! I love the concept of 'dirty yoga' - and I'm amazed they let you bring mud into one of those rooms! Can't wait to see it in the performance.

  2. I love your approach! your editing is just wonderful. I can see a lot of you in your piece. I think is amazing how much control you show on something that is completely uncontrollable. Just as what Michael Lesy did with his work.