Carrie Schneider – Slow Dance, 2009

<p>Schneider’s seven-and-a-half minute video <em>Slow Dance&nbsp;</em>explores themes of thwarted intimacy in an anonymous dive-bar setting. It recalls Brassaï’s 1930s-era portraits of Parisian nightclubs, where private passions were put on public display. Schneider likewise views the bar as a public stage, where one’s attraction to (or antipathy for) others is ritualistically conveyed. Like a queen holding court, a female bartender presides over the scene, watching intently as a young man, played by Schneider’s brother, is reluctantly drawn onto the dance floor by a pretty blond woman. Just as the couple’s awkward embrace takes a turn for the genuinely sensual, a “double” wriggles out from beneath each dancer’s clothing (the male’s double is portrayed by Schneider herself) and mirrors each of their movements. Pulling back, the camera reveals a mutant tangle of bodies. At once creepy and unexpectedly poignant, Schneider’s works portray the erotic’s vulnerability when confronted with the magnitude of human need.</p> <p></p> <p>Excerpted from Claudine Ise's review of Schneider's 12x12 solo exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, for the December 2009 issue of Artforum</p>