Removed Exposure mines the past and present. Essentially a meditation on perceptions surrounding aging, Bernard organically incorporates the audience’s active gaze into the work. Through a calculated series of studied poses reflected in a hand-held mirror, the audience is at times reflected with her image, thus creating a layering of thoughts both private and public. Using seemingly disembodied bytes of text Bernard conveys herself with dry wit and sparse commentary. Bernard backs away from the audience and says: “thinner.” She challenges the public perception of aging by un-apologetically reflecting images of her middle-aged body. Bernard works within a narrow frame of history using newly-retro and popular music, costumes and subject mater to converse with everything about who she is and what the world has become around her. Executed mostly in silence, with the natural sound of breath, distilled text, and referencing an historical range of popular music from Cher to Outkast and Saint Germaine, the audience experiences Bernard’s physicality through the deliberate transitions and embodiment of posturing creating a candid atmosphere ripe for the investigations Bernard proposes.
First presented in 2004 at the Festival of New Dance, St. John’s Newfoundland, Removed Exposure received critical acclaim : “At times gorgeously sumptuous and at others cheekily comical, Bernard was openly expressive in allowing access to what would normally be a most private ritual: the examination and scrutiny of one’s mirrored reflection.” The Telegram, (Newfoundland), Mandy Cook
Creation and performer: Karen Bernard
Director: Maureen Brennan
Costume: Karen Bernard and Hwa Park (coat)
Music: Cher, Etta James, Outkast, St. Germaine
Lighting Design Consultant: Adrian Clark