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Kesik’s idiosyncratic practice explores the endearing aesthetics of failure. Incorporating humour and meta irony, Kesik’s work embraces maximal rhythms and electronic glitches as a reflection of our own human fallibility, emotionality, and fragility. Their work draws inspiration from Hyperpop, Techno, Drum & Bass as well as the visual art aesthetics of weirdcore.
Kesik is working closely with international choreographer, movement researcher and club culture celebrator Michele Rizzo composing a bespoke score for a new collaborative work entitled Coalescing Towards, in this Q&A we find out about the process so far.
Q: How would you describe the work in 3 words?
Ozlem: Maximal, Compulsive, hyperpop
Q: Can you tell us what drew you to working on Coalescing Towards and choreographer Michele Rizzo?
Ozlem: Michele’s exploration of deconstructed club aesthetics in dance, fashion and music feel closely related to my own creative practice. As an electronic artist my practise is focused on maximal rhythms and draws inspiration from hyperpop and EDM. I was excited for the opportunity to work with Michele because I felt a real synergy with his work. We both have an interest in exploring intricate looping interlocking sequences. Michele creates these loops through movement and group synchronicity while I explore loops through rhythm and synthesis.
Q: What about this work excites you?
Ozlem: I’m excited to see how our two artforms merge together. Dance has such an intimate connection with sound. I’m looking forward to seeing how the performers engage with what I have created. It’s been wonderful to work with Michele, he has a clear artistic direction for the project while being open to the creative input of the dancers and myself. I feel fortunate for the opportunity to present work on this scale as a part of Perth Moves 2024, and I can't wait to see it come alive in performance.
Q: What is inspiring your composition? Are there any particular elements that you are drawing on?
Ozlem: The sound draws inspiration from hyperpop, EDM, trap and hip-hop. I went with a darker heavier sound overall after seeing some of Micheles previous work with Berlin experimental IDM producer Billy Bultheel. Trap and hip-hop always feature heavily in my work as I started out as a hip-hop drummer before I got into producing electronic music. My vocals also appear throughout as whispered fragments of Turkish words. Heavily processed, they feature as an added texture in the sound. There’s a balance of abstract deconstructed moments and infectious rhythms.
Q: Are there any challenges you’ve faced in terms of design?
Ozlem: Working with a large sound system in an outdoor space has its challenges but I’m very grateful to be working closely with Tristen and Mark to create an immersive experience for the audience. Likewise its been great working with Michele to create a piece that complements the movement that he and the dancers have been developing during the week. Its been challenging to find a happy medium between experimental abstract sound and rhythmic club inspired beats.
Q: What would you say to composers/sound artists who are looking to collaborate with artists in different forms? Any advice?
Ozlem: Collaborating with artists from different disciplines is a wonderful way to stretch your creativity. I feel like it really draws out unique aspects of your practice that you might not have discovered working on your own. I think it’s a great opportunity to go in with an open mind and explore where you individual practices meet in the middle. That meeting point can be a really wonderful and unique place where each artist's voice contributes to create something meaningful.
Coalescing Towards is a free event that will be performed at the State Theatre Centre from the 15-18 February. Presented by STRUT Dance as part of Perth Moves in association with Tura and Perth Festival.
Image of Ozlem Kesik by Shaun Ferraloro. Image of dancers by Maarten Nauw courtesy of the artist and Stedelijk Museum.