Model Love

a lovers manual (2008)


Somewhere between soundbytes, sonnets and songs, Bodies in Flight’s fifteenth performance work – a dark and surreal exploration of modern dating – begins with a mysterious book of photographs – a lovers’ manual – claiming to record that exact moment when two strangers’ eyes meet and it’s love at first sight.

Known for their innovative collaborations with sonic and visual artists, Bodies in Flight  for the first time worked with a photographer – Edward Dimsdale whose bespoke photo-books are at the passionate heart of this new work.

Part investigators, part impersonators, three performers bring to life his unique series of images with Bodies in Flight’s characteristic mix of live music, poetry and high-octane performing. Raiding dating sites and surfing handy hints on how to speed-date, MODEL LOVE guides you through the maze of rough-and-ready, disposable self-portraiture towards the holy grail of all lonely hearts – romance.

We began with three location shoots – a hotel room, a library, a lake. These became three books of photographs, from which we developed the work exploring how our ready-to-hand technologies of image-making produce multiple self-portraits with multiple potential performances of self. At the end of the show, we invited audiences up on to the stage to examine the books at close hand: their animated interaction with the images inspired us to continue developing the work into an installation and a one-man show that focused on the many ways in which the images are manipulated, printed, consumed. In addition to the two performance versions and installations, Simon took Sara’s choreography to make a video with Tony Judge, entitled Hymn.

EDWARD DIMSDALE photography, CATHERINE DYSON performer, SARA GIDDENS choreography/co-direction, SAM HALMARACK lyrics & music, SIMON JONES text/co-direction, GRAEME ROSE performer, TOM WAINWRIGHT performer

With: TIM BISHOP production assistant, JON CARNALL print artwork, PAUL GEARY video documentation, TONY JUDGE video-edit & website, KATE YEDIGAROFF producer

Performed at: Arnolfini (Bristol), Alsager Arts, Technologies of Transmediality (Bristol), Wickham Theatre (Bristol), Ustinov/Bath Theatre Royal

Installation version: Mayburst/BAC (London) & Quake (Derby Dancehouse).