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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.

Still from Daria Martin's Soft Materials, 2004, image courtesy of Maureen Paley, London

Still from Peter Welz's whenever on on on nohow on | airdrawing, 2004

Bandoneon ! (a combine), David Tudor, Fred Waldhauer right, with Tudor's bandoneon at a Berkeley Heights School rehearsal, Photo courtesy of Frances Breer

Comment

1.

oldpro

June 14, 2006, 1:28 PM

" a statement about the cutting edge of choreocenima within the museum context today,"

In other words, something that should be stuffed into a stout bag, along with the curator, weighted down and thrown immediately into very deep water well away from shore.

2.

ahab

June 14, 2006, 3:30 PM

Unfortunately very deep water wells can only be found on land.

Like avian flu, there's just no getting rid of museo-contextualized statements about cutting-edge anything. New, novel; newer, more novel; newest, most novel: they all mean the same thing but it's what the curators think the people think they want.

3.

Marc Country

June 14, 2006, 4:24 PM

I'm sorry, I didn't quite catch that... the MIT List what center? For a second, I thought you said "Visual Arts", but I must be mistaken... Not that the Frances Breer photo is charmless, mind you, but come on.

4.

oldpro

June 14, 2006, 4:29 PM

Away from shore, Ahab, in the other direction. Wouldn't want to contaminate the ocean.

5.

ahab

June 14, 2006, 6:13 PM

Very well.

6.

oldpro

June 14, 2006, 9:14 PM

Why don't you leave well enough alone?

7.

ahab

June 14, 2006, 10:37 PM

Cause when a well goes sour, you gotta dig for a good one.

8.

Franklin

June 14, 2006, 10:46 PM

Well, that's settled, then.

9.

ahab

June 14, 2006, 10:50 PM

We'll see.

10.

KH

June 14, 2006, 11:10 PM

Imagine me throwing you guys into one because I can't take this anymore.

11.

KH

June 14, 2006, 11:12 PM

That didn't come out as well as I thought it would.

12.

ahab

June 14, 2006, 11:31 PM

See?

13.

Marc Country

June 15, 2006, 12:06 AM

I'm beginning to worry...Are you guys feeling well ok?

14.

oldpro

June 15, 2006, 12:21 AM

we're feeling swell, Marc. I have a sense of well being.

Franklin has to put up some sites we can fight about insterad of showing us they have bad art in Boston too.

15.

Marc Country

June 15, 2006, 12:33 AM

Don't you mean, "...showing us they have bad art in Boston as well?

But seriously, Franklin... oldpro's right.
If you haven't already, go check out Alpha Gallery (in Boston), and report back with your in-person findings, please... it'll be fun... they have PAINTINGS there!

16.

goegre

June 15, 2006, 4:11 AM

"Ignimae me twhornig you gyus iton one baucsee I cnat tkae tihs aymorne."
wcih was fwlooled by "Taht dnidt cmee out as wlel as I tuhohgt it wluod."
I secpust one was renrefirg to the wlel wchih mkeas sesne to me.

17.

oldpro

June 15, 2006, 6:53 AM

Well, all's well that ends well.

18.

Franklin

June 15, 2006, 7:58 AM

Well said, OP.

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