These entries chronicle a choreographic research process that began in 2011 and eventually led the creation and performance of Midway Avenue in 2014. The process includes visits to London to interact with colleagues Wendy Houston, Matteo Fargion and Rahel VonMoos as well as rehearsal in Philadelphia with a cast of dancers. The early research project and eventual production were funded by the Pew Center for Arts and Heritage. Enjoy!
Sunday, June 26, 2011
I had the day to explore the city. I was planning to visit the TATE modern but as I passed by Southbank Centre I noticed they were celebrating with a “Festival of Britain”. So I changed my plans and headed into the crowd. London has an amazing number of spaces for people to congregate around art!
This may seem like a sprinkler but its listed as an exhibit by Jeppe Hein titled “Appearing Rooms”. Jets of water appear and disappear creating a rotating set of “rooms”. Pretty great piece of interactive art on a hot day! From now on I'm going to consider the spray park at 2nd and Reed an interactive exhibit.
I wandered into the Hayward Gallery to see Tracey Emin: Love is What You Want. Consisting of handwritten letters, self portraits, films, piles of memorabilia from her life, the exhibit is brilliantly curated and constructed, walking us through her work, her life. She states that its her goal not to bring anything new into the world with her art; to instead assemble the things that already exist in her past and in her life. The subject matter is often raw and blunt with rape and abortion as recurring themes. Simple things given context take on grand significance. She’s a natural storyteller, and though the works are constructed of personal details about her life, they transcend her to take on larger cultural relevance. I was deeply affected by the exhibit and it will stay with me for a long time.
When I first saw Wendy’s work I was drawn to her ability to dive into complex private topics without settling into confessional storytelling. I’m interested in the notion of art about the artist, as there are so many ways to go about it. All art reflects the artist of course but not all artists put themselves directly into the center of the work. It doesn’t always work in my opinion so when I saw Wendy doing such a brilliant job of it, I was intrigued. She manages to communicate clearly and humorously, using her own stories as the starting point. Tracey Enim is a very different, very extreme example of an artist placing herself at the heart of the work. As I consider making a solo I think: what parts of me will I let through? and why?
All for now. I start with Wendy tomorrow…