sword fight, 2001
stills from video
continuous loop dvd projection

Sword Fight is a staged dual involving two women. The women are clad in identical gray uniforms, and carry swords in their sheaths. The weapons are actually bubble wands, blowing bubbles throughout the set. The sword, which is typically a tool of violence, becomes transformed into a playful almost magical tool.

The character’s actions are not choreographed, but are grounded in memory and intuition. These improvisations reference various movie genres. The women’s interactions are acted out playfully with care and consideration. There is no aggression, intent, or possibility to wound. As the dual unfolds the characters destroy the set rather than one another.

The action takes place within a minimal setting, suggesting non-specific classical architecture. This makeshift arena consists of a model platform, cardboard columns and floating bubbles. The entire space functions theatrically as a framing device. The columns act as both obstacles and shields.

The actions gradually unfold, overlapping one another through the use of dissolving superimposition. These dissolves are not used to manipulate time. The event is shown in its entirety.
all images © Diana Shpungin & Nicole Engelmann 2000-2007