Is it really possible to separate your thought process from the physical self? Although this question should probably be directed towards a neuroscientist, a way more exciting answer can currently be found inside the Barbican’s The Curve gallery space. Its newest set-up comes from the workshop of the Siobhan Davies Dance company with a free-entry multi-disciplinary performance installation called material / rearranged / to / be.

I+I: Variations on "Alteroception" by Emma Smith with Efrosini Protopapa.

On display until 28 January, the exhibition space is transformed into an interactive playground of motions and emotions inspired by art historian Aby Arburg’s Mnemosyne Atlas, a cosmic map to the afterlife of imagery. With an archive of thousands of images of gesturing bodies from different times and places, Arburg decoded those visual languages of the present, past and future. In the interpretation of Siobhan Davies Dance, the story manifests itself through eight individual works delivered by ten artists throughout the corridor-like space of The Curve. Everything from a dancing duo to a bespoke chalk line tool drawing lines on the floor and a one-on-one conversational performance, the installation celebrates the numerous possibilities of the relationship between the body and the mind.

Part of Datum by "Glithero" (Tim Simpson and Sarah van Gameron) with Siobhan Davies and Helka Kaski.

The founder of the company, Siobhan Davies pairs up with Helka Kaski for a piece called Figuring, a captivating side-by-side travelling performance exploring the beautiful language of gestures, creating an evolving conversation solely through their body language. The line between modern dance and art performance appears completely blurry and irrelevant while watching Kaski and Davies, capturing the fundamental idea of the whole installation to the core. With material / rearranged / to / be the choreographers, dancers and visual artists are giving a clear message – body and mind are pretty much inseparable.

"Figuring" by Siobhan Davies and Helka Kaski.

material / rearranged / to / be by Siobhan Davies Dance is on show at The Curve, Barbican Centre, Silk Street, London, EC2Y 8DS until 28 January, Sunday-Thursday 12-6pm, Friday 2-8pm. Find more information about the installation at

Text by Dino Bonacic, images by Ian Gavan for Getty Images