Jennifer Steinkamp is an artist who creates installations using video and other audiovisual media to explore ideas of nature, architectural space, movement and perception.
The installation consists of two works, Dervish 8 (2004), which is part of the Carmen Riera Collection, and Dance Hall Girl 10 (2005).
The first, Dervish 8 (2004), consists of a high-definition projection of a tree with swaying branches. It is inspired by a ritual practiced by a particular type of Islamic practitioner, the Dervish, belonging to the Mevlevi Order. The whirling dance of the Dervishes symbolises a freeing of the soul from worldly ties in an attempt to reach religious ecstasy. In Dervish 8, the movement of the branches contains elements of control and anarchy.
Dance Hall Girl 10 (2005) consists of a small high-definition video projection of dancing flowers. The title refers to a phrase that Steinkamp heard while watching a Western movie. The term "dance hall girl" refers to a woman working in a saloon. To her, it seemed to be a very odd label for a woman. A dance hall girl sporting flashy colours and scandalously low-cut necklines was considered to be a degenerate.