Shows at MIT List
Post #810 • June 14, 2006, 1:13 PM • 18 Comments
"Choreographic Turn" showcases two artists who put dancers into performing situations that involve technology. Peter Welz recorded the movements of William Forsythe from five angles, including the view from a camera mounted on his arm, and is projecting all five of them large-scale on the walls in synchrony. The curator claims for it a "statement about the cutting edge of choreocinema within the museum context today," and I'll grant that it may have succeeded as such, but not to any great artistic effect. I thought instead that music video auteurs have been mounting cameras on guitar necks for two decades. Daria Martin's 16mm film Soft Materials, in contrast, evoked remarkable sensuality as it depicted dancers interacting with robots. In one scene, robotic whiskers twich against the face of the performer, sending its sensor cables into spasms of electric recognition.
"9 Evenings Reconsidered" is really an ephemera exhibition about a 1966 project that paired the talents of artists and performers with those of engineers. It involved no less than John Cage, Yvonne Rainer, Robert Rauschenberg, and other notables, along with some immeasurably smart guys from Bell Labs. The results "disappointed viewers looking for an experience with at least a rudimentary relationship to traditional theatrical enterntainment," as the explanatory text delicately put it, but you have to start somewhere. Some of the machinery involved is on display, the highlight of which is an bandoneon hooked up with a spaghetti-like array of wires so that it could play the balcony spotlights during its performance by David Tudor. The show is a must-see for anyone interested in experimental music, although personally, I like at least a rudimentary relationship to, well, never mind.
"Choreographic Turn" and "9 Evenings Reconsidered" run through July 9 at the MIT List Visual Arts Center.