BY Elizabeth Fullerton with/about Anne Imhof, 2019
Anne Imhof presents seductive, melancholy performance populated by beautiful, androgynous, sullen youths. Over six nights in March, the German artist staged Sex, her latest epic composition, in the Tanks at Tate Modern, cylinders that stored oil when the building was a power station and that were converted into performance galleries in 2012. Sex shared some similarities with Imhof’s powerful, angst-ridden Faust, which earned her the Golden Lion for best national pavilion at the 2017 Venice Biennale. Like that work, Sex featured dancers, musicians, and models in club gear singing, headbanging, and wrestling across different spaces over four hours. But Sex, shaped by Tate Modern’s three subterranean spaces and incorporating Imhof’s paintings and sculptures, was more elaborate and ambitious in scale than Faust. The South and East tanks were each dominated by a pierlike structure, one for audience members to stand on and the other accessible only to performers. The adjacent Transformer Galleries were lined with Imhof’s large-scale yellow and black paintings (“Gradients”), graffito works (“Scratches”), and silkscreen prints portraying her partner and collaborator Eliza Douglas with her mouth open in a silent scream. In this third area, which evoked the intimacy of the bedroom, performers sprawled on high plinths or crouched on shabby mattresses surrounded by smashed iPhones, beer cans, bongs, sex toys, and S/M gear. A mesmerized audience trailed the performers as Imhof coordinated her team’s movements by text message.
STANTON TAYLOR on MICHELE RIZZO
Choreographer Michele Rizzo Reveals the Ecstasy and Unredeemed Power of the Nightclub
At Amsterdam’s Stedelijk Museum, Rizzo’s performance ‘Higher.xtn’ unpicks the communal politics of the dance floor
4/4, a siren calls. We wait. Slow-steady, young ravers descend upon the lobby: from the left, then the right, then behind. Clad in second-hand sports brands, well-worn workwear and sundry leatherettes, they serve the leftovers of last night’s looks. Yet their movements are introverted, their gazes downcast. Once onstage, they shuffle about aimlessly as they sync up to Lorenzo Senni’s haunting synths. Casually self-absorbed, they seem oblivious to anyone but themselves. By the time the music shifts gears towards a slower beat, the dancers have settled into rows facing each other and move in perfect unison.
Kate Brown on Nora Turato
‘Hysteria Is Still Taboo’: Performance Art Dynamo Nora Turato on Why the Art World Still Isn’t Ready to Hear a Woman Scream
The Croatia-born, Amsterdam-based artist is on a hot streak.
She performs in the typically quiet, hallowed halls of museums, galleries, and even churches. She storms around; she gets hysterical.
MATTHEW MCLEAN on Trajal Harrell
Made to Measure
Trajal Harrell talks ‘realness’, daydreaming, and his performance Twenty Looks or Paris is Burning at the Judson Church (S)
Trajal Harrell is in London to perform Twenty Looks or Paris is Burning at the Judson Church (S) (2010) at Sadler’s Wells – the UK debut of this piece, which forms part of Block Universe, the performance festival whose impressive second edition also featured UK premieres of works by Martin Spangenberg and niv Acosta, and new commissions from Jesse Darling and Raju Rage, Grace Schwindt and Erica Scourti, among others.
Open letter: #metoo and Troubleyn/Jan Fabre
By (former) employees and apprentices at Troubleyn
In the interest of the audience and the wish to inform future generations of performing artists, we, former employees and interns who have worked with Jan Fabre in the context of Troubleyn vzw, have come together to share our experiences and to raise our voices in the context of #metoo and its associated social shifts.
This collective response is prompted by statements made by Jan Fabre during an interview with the public broadcast station VRT on Wednesday the 27th of June 2018. In the interview, Fabre shares his thoughts concerning the results of a survey on sexual harassment commissioned by the Flemish Minister of Culture, Sven Gatz.
The starting point for the interview is the headline “1 out of 4 women in the cultural sector experienced sexual harassment in the past year”. On camera for the interview, Fabre responds with surprise and disbelief when these numbers are presented. He says that he is supportive of the actions and measures taken by the Ministry of Culture, but adds that “there is also something dangerous about this. Because, the relationship, the secret bond between director/choreographer and actor/dancer…. you will in fact also destroy and harm it incredibly”.
By Henri Neuendorf for Contemporarycruising.com
Christian Jankowski Guest-Starred on a German Crime Drama and Declared It Art.
The Producers Say, No, It’s Just a TV Show
The artist appropriated the episode for his latest exhibition at Petzel Gallery in New York.
An exhibition at a Chelsea gallery has become a new battleground for an age-old question: Is an artist ever allowed to take another person’s work and re-present it as their own?
The question takes on new meaning in a dispute between the German artist Christian Jankowski and the producers of a German television show, who are displeased that Jankowski has presented an episode he appeared in as his own work in his latest solo show at New York’s Petzel Gallery (on view through August 3).
Sacred Naked Nature Girls
By Coco Fusco
By the time the Sacred Naked Nature Girls brought their all nude show to Highways in Santa Monica, they were wrapped in wild stories about how, in other locales, irate feminists and horny fellows had joined forces to recast their work as pornography. The gals wanted to censure them—the guys wanted to jack off in front of them as applause. I went to see what all the ruckus was about and witnessed a rare instance of decidedly female energies melded together in a serenely powerful force. New Age neo-primitivists scoot over—here’s another spin on the body and the sacred. Their nudity wasn’t there to shock or offend, it was symbolic of their collective will to break down the barriers of the social and turn emotional vulnerability and personal memory into poetry.