Ritual for an Untimely Life
with Hadley + Maxwell


In Ritual for an Untimely Life (2009), a dancer slowly performs a choreography based on the safety demonstration given before a flight. These familiar gestures–that we have, perhaps, learned to ignore–are dramatized here to be almost unrecognizable. The video acts like a slow-moving painting, coloured artificially with theatrical lights, borrowing from German Expressionism’s bold palette and fragmented portraits of a traumatic urbanity. The body of the performer is stitched together with itself across time, highlighting the grotesque aberrations that appear in the repetition of gestures. Situated in the gallery at the entrance and between rooms, the dancer also acts as a kind of guide or docent, indicating the exits and eerily guiding the viewer through the space.


  • Concept & Realization: Hadley + Maxwell
  • Choreographer & Performer: Emma Waltraud Howes

Exhibition History

  • Are you experienced?
    Art Gallery of Hamilton
    Hamilton, CA
  • I
    Manifestation International D’Art de Quebec
    Québec, CA
  • The Lemonade is Weak Like Your Soul
    Kunstverein Göttingen
    Göttingen, DE