Meredith Monk and the Walker: A Chronology
For more than 50 years, interdisciplinary artist Meredith Monk has pushed boundaries within her practice, but her explorations of sound, time, and space, in whatever form they’ve taken, all bear her unmistakable signature. In commemoration of more than four decades of partnership with the Walker, we look back at her many commissions, performances, residencies, and gallery appearances.
Trajal Harrell and the Art of Conscientious Hosting
Trajal Harrell practices the art of conscientious hosting, writes dance scholar Debra Levine. He creates opportunities for others to step in and out of his position, while inserting himself into a lineage of artistic impresarios who precede him—including, in his Walker-commissioned new work, Butoh founder Tatsumi Hijikaa, Nouvelle Danse leader Dominique Bagouet, and La Mama ETC founder Ellen Stewart.
Germinal’s Brave New World
What does human communication mean in an age when so many of our interactions are mediated through technology? And how do the ways we connect dictate how we live together? In Halory Goerger and Antoine Defoort’s Germinal, four people work to create a new society from the rubble, writing—as theater scholar Kate Bredeson puts it—“a love letter to the ephemeral beauty of theater and human life.”
He Gave Me Blues, I Gave Him Back Soul
In collaboration with Triple Canopy
A year to the day after Scaffold Room concluded its world premiere at the Walker, its creator, Ralph Lemon, returns for a “memory refraction” related to the work. A performance installation in the galleries, Scaffold Room fueled this conversation on curating performance between Lemon, Walker curator Philip Bither, and Sarah Michelson, whose work tournamento premiered Sept. 24 on the Walker stage.
A Culture Wars Chronicle
As identity politics made their way into galleries and museums in the ’80s and ’90s, social conservatives took note, lashing out at artists like Robert Mapplethorpe, Karen Finley, and Ron Athey for work that addressed sexuality, multiculturalism, and LGBT rights. Featuring many of these artists, the Walker found itself at the center of the conversation—and the controversies—that marked the Culture Wars.
Polemic of Blood
Ever since a suicide attempt at age 15, death has been a constant companion for Ron Athey—even more so since 1985, the year he tested positive for HIV. Until it wasn’t. Healthy on the 30th anniversary of his diagnosis, the 53-year-old performance artist reflects on the “post-AIDS” body, the 1994 performance that put him at the center of the Culture Wars firestorm, and his homecoming after six years abroad.
The Universal Latin American Theater of Mariano Pensotti
Mariano Pensotti’s genre-bending Cineastas is a play that exists outside of the contemporary expectations of Latin American theater. Instead of “Amazonian sensuality” and magical realism, Pensotti presents us with “a hybrid moment that moves between the theatrical event, performance installation, and literary narration”—a moment that takes equal influence from Roberto Bolaño and Wim Wenders.
The Unadorned Archetype: Discussing The Evening with Richard Maxwell
“I’ve always felt there’s an urgency when people step out on stage,” Richard Maxwell tells Soho Rep’s Sarah Benson. “That’s part of why I feel cautious about making things dramatic. It’s already a dramatic situation!” Their chat ranges from archetypes in Maxwell’s new play The Evening—from “the hooker with a heart of gold” to the aging prizefighter—and the difference between a person and a character.
Beyoncé the Readymade
“A machine, a high-powered Porsche, hip-hop technology. She consumes everything around her.” In Ralph Lemon’s Scaffold Room, this is how Beyoncé is discussed—as an overwhelming force of capital that takes over our senses. With Lemon’s work as a jumping-off point, performer Okwui Okpokwasili recently met with scholar Saidiya Hartman to discuss the iconography and cultural consumption of black women’s bodies.