Romanian-born Canadian artist Laura Taler began her career as a contemporary dance choreographer before turning her attention to filmmaking and visual art. Throughout her career Taler has explored the links between movement, memory, and history by using cinematic and choreographic devices to articulate how the body is able to carry the past without being oppressed by it. She has been a resident at the Banff Centre for the Arts, Centro Cultural Recoleta (Buenos Aires), Carleton Immersive Media Studio (Ottawa), and a fellow at the Institute for Cultural Inquiry (Berlin). Her work has been screened in festivals, exhibitions, and broadcast internationally. Awards include a Gold Hugo from the Chicago International Film Festival, the Best Experimental Documentary award from Hot Docs!, and Best of the Festival from New York’s Dance on Camera Festival. Publications include Tension/Spannung (Turia+Kant, 2010), Revisiting Ephemera (Blue Medium Press, 2011) and Embodied Fantasies (Peter Lang Publishing, 2013).
Throughout my career I have explored how memory and history are linked to movement. I’ve used cinematic and choreographic devices to articulate how the body is able to carry the past without being oppressed by it. In my recent work I am exploring how change is possible by questioning my understanding of what it means to move forward. To do this I have started to practice the repetitive movements of Tai Chi. This exploration of foreign gestures includes broad questions about how the body relates to notions of certainty, doubt, and progress. I try to think of progress not as a line that moves forward to an ultimate precipice but as a spiral that cycles over the same ground while evolving slightly over time. This idea of progress as repetition is giving me a different way to approach the questions that surround this project. It may be that I am no longer looking for answers but instead for ways to practice the questions: How can I use movement to negotiate what I consider foreign within myself? How does gender operate within my choice of gesture? How does my body forgive?