Brendan Fernandes’s dance-based installation in the Commons explores the ways that society sees—and values—different kinds of bodies. Using language, architecture, and gesture to understand the nature of being seen, the artist encourages dancers and visitors to collaborate and generate new forms of physical language that move and attract other bodies in space.

Fernandes (Kenyan, b. 1979) seeks to isolate everyday actions, considering individuals’ body movements in social spaces as a kind of choreography. Over the course of the exhibition, the artist poses the question: How do the shapes of our bodies and our physical proximity to others affect our sense of visibility?

In the Commons a series of prompts for actions, choreographed gestures, dance parties, and talks invite visitors to explore together the ways that our appearances and movements convey social meaning in the urban environment.

The Commons Artist Project: Brendan Fernandes is organized by January Parkos Arnall, Curator of Public Programs, with Christy LeMaster, Assistant Curator of Public Programs.

The Commons Artist Project is a biannual exhibition series that provides a platform for artists to create commissioned installations that consider the big issues of our time. The projects provide direct opportunities for visitors to interact with the works and ideas of local and regional artists of national recognition.