2016, 05:30 minutes, colour, No dialogue
Compulsory Figure is a performance for video that takes place on a series of ponds, flood basins and marshes that sit along the Niagara escarpment. Dressed in a skating uniform found at a second hand skating boutique, Jordyn Stewart assumes the role of a figure skater determined to perform upon untouched icy surfaces that exist in the landscape. The title of the work, Compulsory Figure, is a skating term defined as the carving of specific patterns or figures onto the ice surface by the skater’s blade. These marks made on the ice were the original purpose of the sport. As a self-taught amateur figure skater the artists techniques are based on her own rendition of skating routines.
The work removes the skater from the traditional enclosed arena stage and places the performer within the landscape highlighting the absurdity of the skaters hyper-feminine garment. The work also considers the treatment of ice as a naturally occurring material that has been commodified through recreation. The video documents multiple perspectives of the performance as Stewart prepares to execute her routine, such as the sharpening her own skates with a sharpening stone and smoothing her own ice with a squeegee.
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