Yvonne Rainer: The Concept of Dust, or How do you look when there’s nothing left to move?

Jun 9–14, 2015


Yvonne Rainer. The Concept of Dust, or How do you look when there’s nothing left to move? 2015. Performers, from left: Keith Sabado, Patricia Hoffbauer, Yvonne Rainer, Emmanuèlle Phuon, David Thomson, and Pat Catterson. Photograph © 2015 The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Photo: Julieta Cervantes
  • MoMA, Floor 4, Collection Galleries The Werner and Elaine Dannheisser Lobby Gallery

The Museum of Modern Art presents the East Coast premiere of Yvonne Rainer’s The Concept of Dust, or How do you look when there’s nothing left to move? The performance contends with themes of aging and mortality while employing the artist’s signature wit and erudition. Originally commissioned by the J. Paul Getty Museum, Getty Research Institute, and Performa, the MoMA performance will incorporate a yet-to-be-revealed work from the Museum’s collection that has fascinated Rainer since her arrival in New York in 1956.

A founding member of New York’s pioneering Judson Dance Theater, Rainer is widely regarded as a foundational figure of American art and avant-garde dance since the 1960s. Her boundary-breaking choreography, such as Trio A from The Mind Is a Muscle (1966–68), has been performed in numerous forms and settings by both dancers and non-dancers. By the late 1960s, Rainer developed a form known as “performance demonstrations” or “composites,” which combine fragments of choreography with spoken monologues, projections, films, and sounds. In the 1970s, she turned her attention fully to filmmaking, directing Lives of Performers (1972), Journeys from Berlin/1971 (1980), and Privilege (1990). In 2000, Rainer returned to dance and choreography.

Choreography: Yvonne Rainer
Choreographic assistant: Pat Catterson
Performers: Pat Catterson, Patricia Hoffbauer, Emmanuèle Phuon, Keith Sabado, David Thomson
Pianist: Vincent Izzo
Costume: Juanita Cardenas
Lighting: Les Dickert

The June 13 performance is followed by a conversation between Rainer; writer Lynne Tillman; Douglas Crimp, University of Rochester; and Ana Janevski, Associate Curator, Department of Media and Performance Art, MoMA.

Limited seating is available. Tickets are on sale beginning at 12:00 p.m. June 2. Guests are encouraged to arrive by 7:45 p.m., as late arrivals will not be seated.

Organized by Ana Janevski, Associate Curator, with Giampaolo Bianconi, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Media and Performance Art, The Museum of Modern Art.

The performance is made possible by MoMA’s Wallis Annenberg Fund for Innovation in Contemporary Art through the Annenberg Foundation.

Yvonne Rainer: The Concept of Dust, or How do you look when there's nothing left to move? is co-commissioned by Performa, New York, and The Getty, Los Angeles. Organized by The Museum of Modern Art.

The artist gratefully acknowledges RoseLee Goldberg, Esa Nikkle, and Franck Bordese, Performa; Laurel Kishi and the Getty Museum; Glenn Phillips and the Getty Research Institute; and the Gibney Dance Center, New York.


Installation images

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