A Lexicon of Gesture, 2022

Variable Media + Photo + Performance

A Lexicon of Gesture is a new body of work researched and retrieved from dance, visual and performance art histories. Referencing moments and artists such as Maya Deren, Allan Kaprow, Tehching Hsieu, Gilbert & George and Marina Abromovic, Siebens is developing a wide alphabet of gestures that are stitched together in live performance, photographic collage and short films.

The piece is designed to be mutable and responsive to the location and histories where it is presented. For example, for a performance in Brussels at ‘A Performance Affair’ Siebens used 13 gestures that referenced the following artists, pulled from dance history, performance and visual art and also personal mentors.
These artists included:

Yvonne Rainer
Bruce Nauman
Martha Graham
Joan Jonas
Gilbert & George
Jérôme Bel
Anne Ngan
Bridget Moser
Maya Deren
Valentine de Saint-Point
Allan Kaprow
Tehching Hsieu
Marina Abramović

For each artist, Siebens photographs a signifier that represents the artist either through a prop or her own performance of that gesture. The photographs are then printed onto life-size vinyl and collaged directly onto the wall or large paper that become part of the performance. The resultant ‘mapping’ of all the performed gestures become a single, monumental image, an almost historical capture of the artist’s personal history of performance art.


Calling on histories of performance art, I recreate the gestures and movement of my art heroes, shooting myself in an inverse of the usual male/female, photographer/performer formula. A feminist way to learn, revise and reclaim art history, through the body. A colleague commented that this was a very ‘dancerly’ way to inscribe; a lexicon or archive of the gesture, situated between performing arts, media, dance, visual art and performance histories. The violence of cutting and collaging my own photographic representation becomes a way to insert myself – a woman in my middle years – when one is often erased or ignored in both the quotidian and performance worlds. The gesture in its physical and photographic incarnations becomes a mapping and a trace of both art history giants, and those almost forgotten and erased.


PET Projects
Paradoxical e-Traditions Performance curated by Georgia Liapi
Athens, Greece
May 2022

Vancouver Art Gallery
Spring Forward Art Auction
June 2021

Vancouver Art Gallery
Art Connects
On-line performance via ZOOM
June 2020

Melly Kunstinstituut (formerly Witte de With)
Moveable Types
Curated by Frances Horn
Rotterdam, Netherlands
February 2020

WAAP Solo Exhibition
Vancouver, Canada
December 2019

A Performance Affair
Curated performance art fair
Brussels, Belgium
September 2019


Canadian Art
Editor’s Pick
Leah Sandals
June 12, 2020

The New York Times
It’s the Art Form of the Moment (but It’s a Hard Sell)
by Scott Reyburn
September 9, 2019
Front Page of International NYT, Arts Section of National NYT

ArtNet News
Would you buy a Performance?
September 6, 2019

Le Quotidian de l’Art
by Pedro Morals
September 9, 2019

by Giulia Ronchi
September 2, 2019