This website is an ongoing archive, launched incomplete in 2018, it is being populated with images, videos and records as a current project.
Alan Schacher is a performance artist working at the intersections of dance, installation, theatre and architecture. His performances can take the form of fictitious ritualised ceremony and attempt to eke out the essence of sites, places, materials and objects in relation to and with the performer’s body. As an improviser he is driven to provoke through juxtapositions, contradictions and miss-fits. He is interested in the roles that architecture and the built environment take in framing and containing human activity and in how this may be witnessed as performative. Likewise he pursues the phenomenology of the landscape-body dialogue in opening up and freeing the animal, physical and spiritual dimensions of being.
His works often address his post-Holocaust legacy, and place performers in the role of the lost outsider, impacted on all sides by unseen pressures, tasks and rules, each performance a world unto itself, creating rituals of and for place and time. A first generation Australian of Jewish heritage, he conceives of Diaspora as a web, a contemporary and historical global condition that calls to question any possibility of home-land. The primacy of body, identity and place are fluid, yet in time their collisions can be catastrophic.
In both solo and ensemble works he often posits the performer as a character set upon by unexplained forces. This method of presence is partnered by elaborate mechanisms and with a wide range of objects and materials. His process draws on collabaration with other artists to create cross-disciplinary outcomes especially in sound and video. In his recent solo performances he has employed everyday objects and materials such as shoes, sugar cubes, eggs, spices, coloured water, simple found acoustic props, rolls and sheets of paper, a bedsheet or blanket, to provoke relational images and to echo and emphasize the position of the body in culture. His visceral approach to creation incorporates the interpretation of sites and use of materials, emphasizes the human condition and the state of unknowing that sets both performer and spectator adrift. His projects have been realised in large-scale ensemble performance, solo dance, video, installations, and performance art, where the body consistently remains a primary reference point.
Alan was founder of seminal Sydney-based Performance Ensemble Gravity Feed (1992 to 2004) and of Gravity Research Institute (since 2000). His concerns are with global human movement, architectural experience, and the performativity of public space. His oeuvre is visceral, non-narrative and non-didactic, offering multiple readings of undercurrents drawn from cultural and diasporic landscapes, both imagined and inherited. Since 2010 he also collaborates with WeiZen Ho on performances and projects that enter the domains of ritual and spirit realms, whilst tugging at difference. They investigate processes of transformation, drawing on their respective inheritances and traditions. Their work is a developing language that examines cultural archetypes and acknowledges the pitfalls of cross-cultural misunderstandings.
As well as performing, Alan offers performance workshops, and is available to direct, choreograph, and to provide dramaturgy, staging and design advice. He lives with WeiZen Ho and their two children in the World Heritage area of The Blue Mountains, west of Sydney, Australia.