On the occasion of French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF)’s Crossing the Line Festival 2016, MoMA presents Artist’s Choice: Jérôme Bel/MoMA Dance Company. An exhibition series inaugurated in 1989, Artist’s Choice periodically invites contemporary artists to organize installations drawn from MoMA’s collection. When invited to be the first choreographer to participate, Jérôme Bel shifted his focus from the artworks in the collection to MoMA’s staff, and to the care and labor necessary to maintain the collection and make it visible. Bel also became interested in the relation of the Museum’s employees to specific artworks, to the institution, and even to dance. Eventually, Bel decided to turn his Artist’s Choice exhibition into a performance: MoMA Dance Company.
Through an open call, MoMA Dance Company brings together MoMA staff members from different departments who will perform during public hours in the Donald B. and Catherine C. Marron Atrium. Based on the guiding principles of solo and group performances, MoMA Dance Company subverts both the idea of a dance company and the typical focus of Artist’s Choice installations on objects. The project explores the social potential of dance to create ephemeral communities through joint movement, and it reveals the pre-existing, but usually less visible, community of MoMA’s staff. Bringing together senior and junior staff from different departments at the Museum, Bel temporarily suspends usual workplace hierarchies, and the performers embody the tension between work, play, and performance.
MoMA Dance Company is presented on the occasion of FIAF’s Crossing the Line Festival 2016, which will include a focus on Jérôme Bel, with presentations of major performances at The Joyce Theater, The Kitchen, and MoMA. The series of events will begin on October 17 at 7:30 p.m., with a screening of Bel’s film Véronique Doisneau in FIAF’s Florence Gould Hall, followed by a conversation between the artist and Ana Janevski. On October 20, 21, and 22, The Joyce will present The show must go on (2001), a landmark work in Bel’s continuing dialogue with popular culture that ties choreography to the lyrics of pop songs. On October 27, 28, and 29, The Kitchen will present his radical debut piece, Jérôme Bel (1995)—a work that reduced performance to body, names, and facts—for the first time in New York City.
Sean Anderson, Mack Cole-Edelsack, Alexandra Diczok, Francis Estrada, Chet Gold, Leticia Gutierrez, Danielle Hall, Erin Elise Holland, Yannyck Kao-SY, Talia Kwartler, Thomas J. Lax, Melanie Monios, Pete Morales, Isabela Muci, Diana Pan, Pamela Popeson, Yasmil Raymond, Grace Robinson, Alethea Rockwell, Rajendra Roy, Kendra Isobel Samson, Jenny Schlenzka, Alex Sloane, Sandra Teitge, and Wendy Woon
Executive director and artistic advisor, R.B. Jérôme Bel: Rebecca Lee
Artist’s Assistant: Frédéric Seguette
Presented on the occasion of FIAF’s Crossing the Line 2016, in conjunction with related programming at The Joyce and The Kitchen.
Organized by Ana Janevski, Associate Curator, with Martha Joseph, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Media and Performance Art, and produced by Lizzie Gorfaine, Performance Producer.
The Artist’s Choice exhibition series is made possible through The Agnes Gund Artist’s Choice Fund endowed by Iara Lee and George Gund III, Lulie and Gordon Gund, Ann and Graham Gund, and Sarah and Geoffrey Gund.
Additional support is provided by the MoMA Annual Exhibition Fund.
The artist gratefully acknowledges the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States and the Institut français. The company R.B Jérôme Bel acknowledges the support of the Direction régionale des affaires culturelles d’Ile-de-France, French Ministry for Culture and Communication. The artist acknowledges the co-producers of Gala: Dance Umbrella (London), TheaterWorks Singapore/72-13, KunstenFestivaldesArts (Brussels), Tanzquartier Wien, Nanterre-Amandiers Centre Dramatique National, Festival d’Automne à Paris, Theater Chur (Chur) and TAK Theater Liechtenstein (Schaan), TanzPlan Ost, Fondazione La Biennale di Venezia, Théâtre de la Ville (Paris), HAU Hebbel am Ufer (Berlin), BIT Teatergarasjen (Bergen), La Commune Centre dramatique national d’Aubervilliers, Tanzhaus nrw (Düsseldorf), House on Fire with the support of the European Union cultural program.