Departures and Arrivals



Atlas revisited
Zins Browne, Andros

In 2012, choreographer Andros Zins-Browne and visual artist Karthik Pandian visited the Atlas Film Studios in Ourzazate, Morocco. There, in front of standing film sets of Ancient Egypt, Mecca, Jerusalem and others, they hired a group of professional film camels and tried to persuade them to perform excerpts of the 1982 Merce Cunningham dance piece, Channels/Inserts.

Improbable as the project may have been, the artists did in many ways succeed and the result can be seen in their 2014 video Atlas/ Inserts. In 2016, the artists will look back at the project and beyond with Atlas Revisted. Here, instead of trying to answer why they did what they did, they are drawing out the possible lines of the project's motivations and implications in a performance using text, movement, and moving image.

Atlas Revisited expands the focus of the two artists' collaboration from the execution of a choreography for camels to the political conditions of producing and documenting movement itself. Looking back at their previous work, Zins-Browne and Pandian now re-imagine their motivations as well as the various forms of exploitation, violence and movement that they both wittingly and unwittingly induced along the way.

In January, the artists will return to working with live camels for a second video shoot at EMPAC in Troy, NY. This time, they will hire American camel-actors and shoot in front of a green-screen, employing virtual,

motion capture, and CGI technologies. The hi-tech situation becomes both a new iteration of the work and itself a ruse: was Atlas/ Inserts actually shot in a green-screen studio with the American camels playing the part of exploited, Moroccan camels? Has the grainy, handheld footage we've seen, taken from the camel's perspective actually been fabricated digitally?Are the artists documenting a shoot, or acting in one?

From this, new perspectives of movement, freedom, and the production of images will emerge. The images produced (and destroyed) by ISIS-like terrorists, by protestors documenting the Arab Spring, by the either unwitting and docile, or highly canny and cunning dancing camels, and by a pair of restless contemporary artists all come into play. Through these perspectives, the artists confront the situations and efforts that go into image making and their own roles within such practices. With a mixed-ensemble cast of political circumstances, bodies- both human and animal, and technology, Atlas Revisited performs a dance between the pursuit of freedom and the pursuit of making images of freedom.

Concept/ Direction: Andros Zins-Browne and Karthik Pandian
Produced by: The Great Indoors (Brussels) and Hiros (Brussels)
Co-produced by: Kaaitheater (Brussels), Vilma Gold Gallery (London), EMPAC (Troy, NY)
Supported by: Buda (Kortrijk) and wpZimmer (Antwerp)
Production Manager: Elisa Demarré (Hiros)