He Gave Me Blues, I Gave Him Back Soul
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.
Sarah Michelson: “The Question Takes me Forward”
“The question in all my old pieces is what’s a dance, what could it be? Is making art a self-congratulatory, redundant practice, or if there’s a real pursuit of the nature of the beast to ground level, knowing there is no ground?” Back at the Walker 10 years after performing Daylight (For Minneapolis), Sarah Michelson discusses her return to the theater after years of creating works for museums.
Tales of Home, Life, and Death: Panaibra Gabriel Canda and Faustin Linyekula
In intimate dance works, Panaibra Gabriel Canda (Mozambique) and Faustin Linyekula (Democratic Republic of Congo) have telescoped their immensely complex histories to the scale of the person. The artists seem to say: “Come, look through my lens. You’ll recognize what was previously unseen, unnamed, or unknown to you. Think of me as an alter ego. It is a matter of the life or death of our shared humanity.”
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.
Rethinking Collections Publishing for the Digital Age
For many in the museum world, the term scholarly collections catalogue can conjure daunting impressions: a book about a museum’s holdings, it involves years of collecting, researching, photographing, and writing, plus a huge printing budget, all to create a tome that is likely out of date the moment it hits the shelf. Enter The Living Collections Catalogue, the Walker’s new serial online publication.
Shifting Terrains: Fionn Meade on the Cross-Disciplinary
As the hard edges between disciplines continue to dissolve, the Walker is intensifying its investigations into what artistic boundary-crossing means and how curators must adapt to the needs of artists and audiences in this new reality. Fionn Meade discusses his role as senior curator of cross-disciplinary platforms and how art’s terrain is shifting in the gallery, theater, cinema, and online.
Accumulated Vision: Trisha Brown and the Visual Arts
Trisha Brown’s choreography, especially early in her career, held special appeal for one audience in particular: visual artists. Writer and art historian Susan Rosenberg examines ways that the legendary choreographer’s curatorial sensibility, penchant for systems, and development of annotated scores echo the practices of artists such as Robert Rauschenberg, Sol LeWitt, and Donald Judd.
Sage Cowles: A Dance Activist’s Life
Sage Cowles had a “real social vision,” says choreographer Bill T. Jones. “Sage and [husband] John were interested in Change with a capital C, which earned her high marks in my way of thinking.” A philanthropist, mother, political activist, and—perhaps most importantly—a dancer, Cowles passed away November 21, 2013, at age 88. Camille LeFevre recounts a life dedicated to dance, family, and community.
Further into Where You Are
Behavioral artist Marcus Young likens conceptual choreographer Jérôme Bel’s work to guided meditation. “Everything that is unnecessary is pared away. You are never swept away by outward virtuosity or passion. Instead, you must provide the unswerving gaze, calm mind, and open heart. You should go willingly, and if you do you are transported, not away, but further into where you are, your own humanity.”