Dancing with exquisite strangers | Bleader

Dancing with exquisite strangers


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Matthew Austin, Bird
  • Matthew Austin's Bird

The title of Matthew Austin and EJ Hill’s upcoming show at Acre Projects, “Slow Dance,” comes from the Matthew Dickman poem of the same name. Dickman’s poem describes the rituals and behaviors within human relationships, like the movements of partners sharing a dance. “The poem mentions the dance of brothers, the missteps that happen when both lead, and the fear of suffering when one outlives the other,” says Austin. “EJ and I are interested in the idea of viewing our friendship and the dynamic of our art practices as a slow dance.”

Austin and Hill have been friends since their undergrad days at Columbia College. While their practices are disparate, as Austin is a photographer and Hill a performance artist, both have had a long-standing interest in collaborating. “Slow Dance” is a collection of photographs, drawings, and writing that attempts to represent how people negotiate social roles as relationships change. “As participating members of society, we have a different set of behaviors and actions that we regularly fulfill. I think the work in this show plays with the ideas of being honest about these roles we play.”

In addition to the displayed work, Austin and Hill will release a limited-edition publication titled, /. The 90-page book is also a series of photographs, writing, and drawings from the two artists. “I’m really excited about the publication and work we’re presenting. But I’m mostly just looking forward to being in the same room as EJ and giving him an overdue high-five.”

"Slow Dance" opens at ACRE Projects (1913 W. 17th) on Sunday, March 25.

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