The First Veil

For The First Veil, Andrew Thomas Huang divides up the cinematic screen into a triptych featuring the American dancer Bones the Machine and a smoking lantern, which has been central in digital edition, Interstice. The dancer moves to a choreographed routine wearing a futuristic black helmet. Long, penetrative nails are attached to his hands, symbols of power evocative of Chinese finger guards worn by royalty during the Qing dynasty. Masterfully comprised of upper-body limb isolations designed to cover the face, the dance performed by Bones suggests a divination ritual, conjuring the appearance of a red silk veil volitionally draping itself over the performer. As the The First Veil completes its entrance, a piercing soundtrack crescendos to infiltrate the work, disrupting its ruminative quality with a wall of noise. The triptych concludes like a magic trick in which Bones vanishes behind the asphyxiating red silk skin that swallows his body whole.

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