Give it a Rest


Give it a Rest brings different trajectories of rest into the conversation with artist and researcher, Danilo Correale and body-based practitioner Aabshaar Wakhloo. Investigating the idea of labor, leisure, waiting and loitering through video, sound, and body in space Aabshaar and Danilo propose new rhythms. One lullaby at a time.

Aabshaar Wakhloo is a body based practitioner and dancer-choreographer. She holds a BA degree in Dance, Context, and Choreography from the Inter-University of Dance Berlin. Her artistic practice, reflective and curious of an array of fields lies at the intersections of research and practice of the body.

When the entire body drowns deeper into the earth- rising and falling, expanding and disappearing – What are the chances and risks?

The heart beats in an ebb and flow. Within the contraction, there is also expansion. In some parts of the body, there is a delay. What choices are abandoned? Eyes open, eyes close.

Rest doesn’t surface, it requires an initial focus in the form of light or sound. Movement creates something familiar, a flow. The departure from the flow prepares for the rhythm that follows. The continuous lulling and tapping is a moment of recognising the entities that come together. Then again, there is a pull towards the other side.

The condition of standing collapses into the cushioning of the flesh, and soft cradling evokes a state of magan (unabashed freedom) where rest is a play. There is no rush. The inclination is to fall in love with the interstices of day and night, rest and wakefulness.

Danilo Correale is an Italian artist and researcher living and working in New York. His work focuses on analyzing aspects of human life such as labor, leisure, and sleep in late capitalism. His work employs a wide range of visual and collaborative strategies emphasizing kinship between time and body associated with present-time maladies such as fatigue, lethargy, boredom, and stillness.

Who’s your elevator chatting with? This is a one-liner AD used in trade fairs by Schindler Holding one of the world’s leaders in manufacturing moving walkways, elevators, and other mobility products around the globe.This seemingly nonsensical banal question, certainty must have caught the attention of techno-positivist venture capitalists to get to know more about the company’s new elevator technologies, to those cut off from investing in a Swiss Multinational’s stock, only show the dead-end route of technologies applied to space and infrastructures, where outside of hyper-connectivity, new attempts at “the internet of things” and data extraction, only content production can compete.

Yet paradoxically elevators are the place par excellence where content production and sharing reach their subjective limit. Elevators are symbolic of our experience with waiting time, a forced stillness experience, or an anxiety-triggering space where ones must decide whether to engage in a conversation with semi-strangers or refuse interaction as if our body were made of quartz or, nowadays the option of doom scrolling, heads down in to our devices, past present and future disappear into a life-erasure, time spent in a lift elevator operates almost as in a movie, sliding door open, a sliding door closes, yet the chance of having to share an awkward time is guaranteed. Not too long to produce meaningful thoughts, nor too short to completely ignore, time spent in elevators is an essential part of our experience of dead time, at home, at work, and all the shades in between.

This new piece constitutes a platform to articulate new reflections on “nonproductive consumption of time” shifting the attention to those times of stillness in between sleep and wakefulness, such as waiting and getting stuck whether it’s caused by individual lethargy or social conditions.This new work intended to provide the framework for research on the subject of stillness and dead time, as a result of the collective experiences shared in the midst of the pandemic, the waiting to heal, the waiting to get back somewhere or to some form of “normality”, the pandemic cycle has certainly stimulated a much-needed need to reflect on these moments in which we wait.

The visual background of this new piece is a hrs long endurance performance held in my current Manhattan studio building. The artist spent one average work shift doing absolutely nothing in the elevator cabin of the building. Meanwhile, several notes, accounts, and speculative confabulation will incessantly loop over the recorded footage questioning the audience on the nature of productive and unproductive time, work time, and leisure or rest time.