Yve Laris Cohen creates installations and performances that challenge the conventions of dance and visual art. His work uses elements of theatrical architecture—walls, curtains, rigging systems, and sprung floors—and considers the everyday labor that goes into constructing, handling, and maintaining them. These materials transform over time, whether from physical deterioration, active repair, or changing status from architecture into artwork and back again. Drawing connections between structural damage and bodily illness, the artist stages narratives of trauma and care, conflict and support, vulnerability and dependency.
For this new installation in the Kravis Studio, Laris Cohen will repurpose the remains of the Doris Duke Theatre (originally named the Studio/Theatre), which was destroyed in 2020 by a fire at Jacob’s Pillow, a historic dance site in Becket, Massachusetts. By bringing architectural structures from the fire’s aftermath into MoMA’s performance space, Studio/Theater raises questions about what constitutes a theater and how these spaces are themselves fragile and dependent. The exhibition aims to expand the parameters of dance as a discipline, inviting us to think of the chemical transformation, transportation, and decay of performance architecture as forms of choreography.
Studio/Theater consists of two alternating performances, titled Preservation and Conservation, presented on alternating Wednesdays at 8:00 p.m. Staged among the remains of the Doris Duke, these performances will harness the event of the fire to explore approaches to maintaining both material objects and live art forms.
Performers: Stephen Furnstahl, Mark Hanford, Paul Hashagen, Naomi Kroll Hassebroek, Michele d’Arcy Marincola, Lisa B. Malter, Norton Owen, Peter Rosenbaum, Christopher E. Swindlehurst, Liz Thompson, Anthony Tung, Tom von Foerster (alternate), and Lynda Zycherman.
Stagehand: Yve Laris Cohen
Stenographers: Debra A. Levinson (alternate), Dominick M. Tursi
Lighting design: Madeline Best
Artist assistance: Cuba, Nora Chellew
Preservation was created in part during a residency at the Pillow Lab at Jacob’s Pillow.
Studio/Theater is commissioned by The Museum of Modern Art, New York.
Special thanks to Jacob’s Pillow.
Organized by Martha Joseph, The Phyllis Ann and Walter Borten Assistant Curator of Media and Performance, with May Makki, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Media and Performance. Performances produced by Lizzie Gorfaine, Producer, with Jessie Gold, Assistant Performance Coordinator, and Olivia Rousey, Assistant Performance Coordinator, Performance and Live Programs.