Against the backdrop of intermedial experiments in the mid-20th century, the 21st century has seen dance and choreography appear more frequently in art galleries and museums. This is forecast to accelerate, propelled by curatorial inquiries and critical developments associated with a reinvention of the museum. However, processes and protocols concerning performance conditions specific to choreography, curatorial practices, acquisitions, collection, conservation and theory have lagged behind. The project addresses this problem and its principal aims are to:
Precarious Movements puts artists and creative practice at the centre of its inquiry, engaging their knowledge and experience as primary research, and supports dancers and choreographers as important end users.
Precarious Movement: Choreography and the Museum is a research project involving University New South Wales (UNSW), National Gallery Victoria (NGV), TATE, Art Gallery New South Wales (AGNSW) and Monash University Museum of Art (MUMA) and connects and consults with a broader network of artists, curators, archivists, museum educators, theorists and writers via an email google-group and events.
The initial event was the 2016 Sydney Biennale salon, Choreography and the Gallery, at the AGNSW (27th April, 2016) in partnership with UNSW. This was followed by a series of research workshops:
Associate Professor Erin Brannigan is Associate Professor in Theatre and Performance at the University of New South Wales. She is of Irish and Danish political exile, convict, and settler descent. Her publications include Moving Across Disciplines: Dance in the Twenty-First Century (Sydney: Currency House, 2010), Dancefilm: Choreography and the Moving Image (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011) and Bodies of Thought: 12 Australian Choreographers, co-edited with Virginia Baxter (Kent Town: Wakefield Press, 2014). She has published various chapters and articles in film, performance and dance journals and anthologies. Her current research project is Precarious Movements: Dance and the Museum, and monographs associated are forthcoming: Choreography, Visual Art and Experimental Composition 1950s -1970s (London: Routledge, 2022) and The Persistence of Dance: Choreography as Concept and Material in Contemporary Art (NYP).
Rochelle is a Senior Lecturer, School of Art & Design, University of New South Wales and researcher engaged with painting, drawing, movement and performance to explore relationships between bodies and physical environments. For over ten years Haley has worked at the forefront of the intersection of visual arts and dance: an emergent area of research gaining international momentum. Her interdisciplinary approach to movement merges painting and choreography to investigate space structured around the sensation of the moving body. Haley’s work aims to re-imagine the dynamism of material surfaces of representation to discover methods that are sensory, kinaesthetic, affective and rhythmic. She has exhibited internationally and at leading national venues including UQ Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art Sydney, Hazelhurst Regional Gallery and UNSW Galleries. Her work has been profiled on ABC Radio National, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Australian, Art Monthly Australia, Artist Profile Magazine and Art Collector.
Hannah Mathews is a Melbourne-based curator with a particular interest in contemporary art and performance. She is Senior Curator at Monash University Museum of Art (MUMA), where her recent curatorial projects include Dale Harding: Through a lens of visitation (2021); Agatha Gothe-Snape: The Outcome is Certain (2020); and Shapes of Knowledge (2019). Mathews has held key curatorial positions at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts, Next Wave Festival and Biennale of Sydney. Her recent editorial projects include award-winning publications on Dale Harding, Agatha Gothe-Snape, Derek Kreckler and To Note: Notation Across Disciplines, amongst others. Mathews is currently a chief investigator on the ARC Linkage Grant Precarious Movements: Choreography in the Museum.
Shelley is an independent artist based in Melbourne. For more than 30 years, Shelley Lasica has pushed the confines of dance, choreography and performance. Her practice is defined by an enduring interest in the context and situations of presenting choreography. Throughout her career, she has been making solo performances that function as a means and a reason for showing work. This practice provides the basis for generating ensemble works that question the collaborative and interdisciplinary possibilities of choreography. She regularly collaborates with visual artists, including Tony Clark, Helen Grogan, Anne Marie May, Callum Morton, and Kathy Temin, in order to create dialogues between different modes and means of presentation. Lasica’s choreographic works have been shown nationally and internationally within both visual art and theatre contexts, including: Melbourne Festival; National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne; Chunky Move, Melbourne; Artspace, Sydney; Centre Nationale de la Danse, Paris; Siobhan Davies Studios, London; Dance Massive, Melbourne; Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne; Murray White Room, Melbourne; and Anna Schwartz Gallery, Melbourne.
Carolyn is the Head of Conservation at the Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW). Carolyn’s research interests include investigating the ways in which museum and conservation practices impact artists and their works held in museum collections, with a particular interest in installation and time-based artworks. Previously Carolyn has worked at several cultural institutions, including the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Canadian Conservation Institute and the Queensland Art Gallery. Carolyn undertook a Getty Fellowship at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco after completing a Bachelor of Applied Science in paper conservation at the University of Canberra. Carolyn has also completed a Bachelor of Arts majoring in History and Law, and postgraduate qualifications in Museum Studies and Writing. Carolyn is currently a partner investigator on two Australian Research Council Linkage projects, Archiving Australian Media Arts and Precarious Movements: Choreography and the Museum.
Lisa is Assistant Curator, International Art at the Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW) where she contributes to the acquisition, exhibition and care of the contemporary art collection. Recently she has worked with artists Eko Nugroho, Julian Rosefeldt and Yona Lee. Her interest in media, performance and installation art led to her central involvement in the AGNSW Time Based Art Project. In 2017 she was selected, with her colleague Asti Sherring, to participate in a time-based media art workshop run by the Museum of Modern Art, New York. She has held curatorial positions at the National Museum of Australia and National Gallery of Australia, and has completed a Bachelor of Media Studies and a Master of Liberal Arts (Museum Studies) from the University of Adelaide and Australian National University, respectively.
Louise is currently the Interim Head of Conservation at Tate. Her substantive role is the Conservation Manager, Time-based Media. In this role she is responsible for the strategic direction, development and delivery of all aspects relating to time-based media conservation at Tate. This requires working across a wide range of projects and programmes: exhibitions, displays, acquisition, loan-outs and collection care initiatives. She has been developing how performance artworks in Tate’s permanent collection are documented and conserved, through the project ‘Documentation and Conservation of Performance at Tate (2016-2021)’. Louise has shared the knowledge developed through this project via lectures, presentations and academic publications. She has also been part of the wider project team for ‘Reshaping the Collectible: When Artworks Live in the Museum (2018-2021)’, with a focus on two case studies; one focusing on Tony Conrad and the second focusing on Replication.
Pip Wallis is Senior Curator at Monash University Museum of Art (MUMA). Prior to joining MUMA Pip was Director of Programs at Callie's, Berlin and Curator, Contemporary Art, National Gallery of Victoria where she curated projects by Hito Steyerl, Simone Forti, and Adam Linder. She was previously Managing Editor, X-TRA Contemporary Art Quarterly Los Angeles; curator in residence, Chisenhale Gallery London; and Curator, Gertrude Contemporary. Pip is a member of Matter in Flux, and publishes regularly.
Zoe Theodore is an independent curator, producer and writer based in Sydney, Australia. She regularly works with Shelley Lasica and Amrita Hepi, producing work at various institutions across Australia including the Artspace, Sydney; the Immigration Museum, Melbourne and Gertrude Contemporary, Melbourne. She was the Co-Editor of Dissect Journal's third issue and has held professional roles at Anna Schwartz Gallery, Melbourne; Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne; and MoMA PS1, New York. She is a current PhD candidate at the University of New South Wales, researching the relationship between performance, choreography and the museum.
Amita Kirpalani is a curator and writer, she is currently Curator, Contemporary Art NGV. She was previously Curator of Contemporary Art at ArtScience Singapore. She writes regularly about contemporary art. Amita has held managerial and curatorial positions at Canberra Contemporary Art Space and Gertrude Contemporary, Melbourne and has tutored in Contemporary Art Theory for RMIT. She was projects producer for the Wheeler Centre, Melbourne. She has produced and managed a range of projects from live in-conversation events to large-scale solo commissions, many of which communicate her interest in ‘liveness’ in the gallery.
WHEN I AM NOT THERE
Dates: 16–27 August 2022
Location: Monash University Museum of Art, Melbourne
Shelley Lasica, WHEN I AM NOT THERE 2022, MUMA, Melbourne, with performers Luke Fryer, Shelley Lasica and Lana Šprajcer. Photography: Jacqui Shelton
WHEN I AM NOT THERE takes the form of a performance–exhibition. It embeds a major new choreographic work within an exhibition of artworks, objects, texts and sounds, all distilled from Lasica’s archive. This approach questions what it means ‘to perform’ and ‘to exhibit’, purposefully ensuring that one mode cannot exist without the other.
Lasica’s body of work is uniquely characterised by the conversations it holds with the traditions and practices of theatre, fashion, installation, painting, sound, sculpture, literature, architecture and choreography itself. These conversations create both a physical and relational infrastructure within her practice as she has moved between solo performance and ensemble works for many people. For WHEN I AM NOT THERE, Lasica has worked with a cross-generational mix of creatives, including dancers LJ Connolly-Hiatt, Luke Fryer, Timothy Harvey, Rebecca Jensen, Megan Payne, Lana Šprajcer and Oliver Savariego; sound artist François Tétaz; consultants Lisa Radford and Colby Vexler; creative producer Zoe Theodore and curator Hannah Mathews.
WHEN I AM NOT THERE was originally commissioned for Monash University Museum of Art, Melbourne where it was presented from 16-27 August 2022. It will be presented at the Art Gallery of New South Wales in May 2023.
WHEN I AM NOT THERE was accompanied by a substantial monograph designed by Stuart Geddes and Ziga Testen featuring new writing from Erin Brannigan, Justin Clemens, Claudia La Rocco, Robyn McKenzie and Zoe Theodore. Positioning Lasica’s oeuvre within Australian contemporary practice as well as international contexts, it will be the first monograph published on an Australian choreographer. A comprehensive account of Lasica’s performance and exhibition history and extensive documentation drawn from her archive will be presented alongside the commissioned texts. Purchase here.
Dates: 4–9 December 2022
Location: Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney
Riana Head-Toussiant, Animate loading 2022, with performer Natalie Tso, supported by The Keir Foundation and the Australian Government through the Australian Research Council as part of the research project Precarious movements: choreography and the museum. © Riana Head-Toussiant, photo: Felicity Jenkins, Art Gallery of NSW.
Animate Loading is a choreographic work that is in direct dialogue with the space it inhabits. Every performance is informed by the architectural, social and historical contexts of the unceded land it is on. First created on a rooftop carpark in Parramatta in early 2022, and evolving among post-industrial stone ruins and graffitied water tanks at Casula Powerhouse, this iteration of Animate Loading took shape within and around the construction of the Art Gallery’s new building. A disability-led project with access-centred principles at its core, the work was performed on four nights during the building’s opening week. The performers drew on their diverse movement languages and embodied experiences to activate the architecture, bringing its seen and unseen dimensions into focus, and reconfiguring the audience’s interactions with the gallery spaces and each other.
The Animate Loading creative team was comprised of lead artist, choreographer and sound designer Riana Head-Toussaint, with performers and collaborators Leo Tsao, Tom Kentta, Natalie Tso, Jeremy Lowrenčev, Savannah Stimson and Bedelia Lowrenčev, as well as Imogen Yang (access producer and outside eye), Cynthia Florek (writing and documentation associate), Benaiah Brophey (wardrobe and stage associate), Stephen Dobson (sound engineer), Katrina Douglas (stage manager) and Tamara Dodd (costumier).
The AGNSW presentation of Animate Loading was also supported by The Keir Foundation.
Precarity and Practices of Care for Dance and the Museum was the first in a series of three workshops. As the first occasion for the current network of Associate Researchers to meet in person, this workshop will address the project's premise of precariousness: Is dance an inherently precarious art form? How might choreographers and dancers creatively respond to and harness precarity? Do these artists experience precarity within the context of the museum? How can museums respond to this? And what change might our recent experiences of instability and uncertainty provoke for both artist and museum?
With these questions in mind, the event explored new models of knowing and caretaking that can best support choreographic and dance practices — their artists, social networks, histories, futures and audiences — when these types of works are commissioned, presented, collected and conserved by museums.
Hosted by the Art Gallery of New South Wales on the 30th and 31st of March 2022 as an industry-oriented event attended in-person by an intimate group of Associate Researchers of the project who work across creative practice, conservation, curation, production and archives. It is focused on promoting critical inquiry, movement-based knowledges and transparent dialogue between artist and institution.
'Precarity and Practices of Care for Dance and the Museum' will include artist presentations by Brian Fuata, Angela Goh, Jo Lloyd, Sarah Rodigari, Brooke Stamp and Latai Taumoepeau; a keynote response by Walker Art Centre’s Senior Curator of Performing Arts Philip Bither in conversation with Pip Wallis; a recap and response by Australian art historian Susan Best; a presentation by Juanita Kelly-Mundine, Conservator, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art, Art Gallery of NSW; and a book launch of Choreography, Visual Art and Experimental Composition 1950 – 1970s by Erin Brannigan.
Precarious Movements Address: The Community of the Project hosted by: Erin Brannigan, Associate Professor, University of New South Wales; Shelley Lasica; Hannah Mathews, Senior Curator, Monash University Museum of Art
Artist Presentation: Jo Lloyd hosted by: Shelley Lasica
Keynote In Conversation: Philip Bither, Senior Curator Performing Arts, Walker Art Centre in conversation with Pip Wallis Curator, Contemporary Art, National Gallery of Victoria
Artist Presentation: Brooke Stamp hosted by: Erin Brannigan, Associate Professor, University of New South Wales
Artist Presentation: Angela Goh hosted by: Rochelle Hayley, Senior Lecturer, University of New South Wales
Day 1 Facilitated Discussion hosted by: Lisa Catt, Curator, International Art, Art Gallery of New South Wales and Hannah Mathews, Senior Curator, Monash University Museum of Art
Day 1 Recap & Response by Professor Susan Best, Queensland College of Art, Griffith University
AGNSW Conservation Presentation by Juanita Kelly-Mundine, Conservator, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art, Art Gallery of New South Wales; hosted by: Carolyn Murphy, Head of Conservation, Art Gallery of New South Wales and Lisa Mansfield, Conservator, Time-based Media, Art Gallery of New South Wales
Artist Presentation: Sarah Rodigari hosted by: Hannah Mathews, Senior Curator, Monash University Museum of Art
Artists in Conversation: Latai Taumoepeau with Paschal Daantos Berry, Head of Learning and Participation, Art Gallery of New South Wales and Lisa Catt, Curator, International Art, Art Gallery of New South Wales
Day 2 Facilitated Discussion hosted by: Erin Brannigan, Associate Professor, University of New South Wales; Shelley Lasica; and Zoe Theodore, Precarious Movements Project Coordinator
Precarious Movements: Conversations
Tuesdays 20, 27 October and 3 November 2020
Catherine Damman, ‘Presence at the Creation’, Artforum International, vol. 57, September 2018. The issue was never whether dance belongs in the museum or gallery, but rather what we do with dance—and how we treat dancers—once it’s there … (Catherine Damman, ‘Presence at the Creation’, Artforum International, vol. 57, September 2018.)
Precarious Movements: Conversations wais a three-part program of talks with artists, curators and conservators that reflects on what happens when works of a choreographic nature enter the museum. Each session focuseds on a particular phase of a work’s museum life cycle: how its presentation challenges existing display systems and program infrastructure; how its ephemerality and mutability confront current collection and acquisition frameworks; and how a choreographic work’s particular relationship to body, memory and social networks might shift institutional practices of archiving and preservation.
Co-presented by MUMA and the Precarious Movements: Choreography and the Museum research group, this program reflecteds on the various types of knowledge transmission that occur at each stage of interaction between artist and museum, and how choreographic practices themselves might change the structural and material form of the museum. It advocateds for the centrality of the artist’s voice and the capability of the museum to listen. Links to recordings are in each section.
Tuesday, 20 October 2020
Agatha Gothe-Snape (artist), Amrita Hepi (artist) and Latai Taumoepeau (artist)
Moderator: Hannah Mathews (Senior Curator, MUMA)
Three artists—each working with choreography in distinct ways and regularly invited to work within the space of the gallery—share their experiences of presenting work of a choreographic nature within the white cube. Whether programmed as a commission, intervention, exhibition, performance or event, the works of these artists have challenged how museums produce and present art. In what way can institutions be more adaptable to artists whose work falls outside the modes of artmaking traditionally held in such institutions? How can artists learn to better navigate the institution and advocate for their practice? These case studies identify the points of tension between artist and museum, and suggest how they might be overcome.
Tuesday, 27 October 2020
Lisa Catt (Assistant Curator, International Art, AGNSW), Victoria Hunt (artist), Shelley Lasica (artist) and Tania Doropoulos (Director, Anna Schwartz Gallery)
Moderator: Pip Wallis (Curator, Contemporary Art, NGV)
There is a notable absence of choreographic works in museum collections. Obstacles seem to exist at the most fundamental level—the very way museums understand the art object and structure the process of collecting. This session looks at how artists and institutions are confronting the limitations of current acquisition frameworks and are considering ways in which collections might make space for living practice and immaterial context. Shelley Lasica and Tania Doropoulos look to Lasica’s work Dress: A Costumed Performance with Designer Martin Grant, 1998–2019, as a model for how artists might approach the acquisition of their work. Artist Victoria Hunt discusses her experiences within institutional contexts, reflecting on how museum ontologies and temporalities might be challenged and changed. And curator Lisa Catt discusses how the archive might circumvent institutional hierarchies and dependencies on objecthood to represent a wider range of artforms within a museum collection.
Tuesday, 3 November 2020
Louise Lawson (Conservation Manager, Tate) and Robert Lazarus (Associate Lecturer, Grimwade Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation, University of Melbourne)
Moderator: Stephen Gilchrist (Lecturer, University of Sydney)
The preservation of choreographic work lays challenge to the core principles of traditional museum model—perpetuity and permanence. What processes might better serve the preservation of choreographic works? And how might knowledge transmission occur within and without the institution? The speakers in this session discuss case studies and experiences of archiving and conserving works that engage with body, memory and social networks. Louise Lawson discusses the conservation practice and processes that are being developed at Tate to preserve performance art. Robert Lazarus will reflect on the importance of stretching our understanding of conservation practices through the nature of the artworks themselves, and how this responsive approach can shape the teaching and learning of new generations of conservators.
Precarious Movements: Choreography and the Museum Research Forum 2020 brought artists, researchers and institutions into dialogue about best practice to support both the choreographer and the museum, and to sustain momentum in theory and practice around dance and the visual arts. This workshop and series of public panels involved research team members Hannah Mathews (MUMA), Pip Wallis (NGV), Louise Lawson (Tate UK), Shelley Lasica (Independent artist), Carolyn Murphy & Lisa Catt (AGNSW), Erin Brannigan & Rochelle Haley (UNSW), and a network of local artists, curators, theorists and writers. The program culminated in a sold-out keynote by Louise Lawson Keeping it Live: Conserving Performance at Tate.
9.30am - 12.30pm
Artist led workshops with Shelley Lasica & Lizzie Thomson.
1.30pm - 2.30pm
Precarious Movement: Choreography and the Museum team panel
This panel discussion outlined where this research group comes from, what we have been doing, what we hope to achieve, and our interest in community input to help shape the direction of future work.
3pm - 4.30pm
Open discussion and workshop around glossary / taxonomy of terms and topics introduced in panel. This 90 min session was driven by audience discussion / questions / input.
5pm - 6pm
Keynote by Louise Lawson (Conservation Manager, Tate) Keeping it Live: Conserving Performance at Tate
The keynote is accessible on mixcloud here.
It is also listed in the ‘Research Forum’ playlist on UNSW Galleries Mixcloud.
Choreography and the Gallery Workshop (Melbourne, NGV and VCA Studio, 15-17 October 2019)
Tuesday, 15 October 2019
NGV Australia: Ian Potter Centre
· 10am - 11am Erin Brannigan orientation session – what we have achieved and what we need to do
· 11am - 12pm Pip Wallis
· 12pm - 1pm Rochelle Haley
· 1pm - 2pm Lunch
· 2pm - 4pm AGNSW (Carolyn Murphy) and Tate (Louise Lawson) on conservation, collection and acquisition
· 4pm - 5pm Erin Brannigan facilitates debrief
Wednesday, 16 October 2019
Black Box 221, VCA, 234 St. Kilda Rd 9am-12pm
Guests: Zoe Theodore, choreographers Deanne Butterworth and Jo Lloyd, artist Helen Crogan and artist-academic Carol Brown – Head of Dance VCA to join us 9am-12pm
· 9am - 11am Shelley Lasica – major themes of the project and choreographic practices
· 11am - 12pm Hannah Matthews
· 12pm - 1pm Lunch
· Ian Potter Centre Theatre, Federation Square 1pm - 3pm
· 1pm - 3pm Pip Wallis leads group presentation to NGV contemporary art and publications teams
· 3pm - 5pm Erin Brannigan facilitates debrief with team at a local venue
Thursday, 17 October 2019
NGV Australia: Ian Potter Centre
· 10am - 12pm Advice from UNSW on the Linkage program
· 12pm - 1pm Discussion of any changes to Linkage
· 1pm - 2pm Lunch
· 2pm - 4pm General debrief and forward planning. Plan B regarding unsuccessful grant
Choreography-Gallery-Practice: Workshop (Sydney, UNSW School of Arts and Media and Art & Design, February 2018)
Choreography-Gallery-Practice: Workshop 2019 brought 20 artists, academics and curators together at UNSW Art and Design to sustain momentum in theory and practice at the nexus between dance and the visual arts. The focus was on sharing current research and generating new possibilities, both individual and collective. Workshop leaders were Lizzie Thomson, Shelley Lasica, Sarah Rodigari, Zoe Theodore and Jess Olivieri. The focus was on practice and participation; transferring methods in practical experiments to ‘try-on’ different approaches to shared problems/ideas.
The project included a public event (a sharing of findings) on Friday March 1, 5-6pm in the Nick Waterlow Gallery, Paddington.
This event was a follow-up to a salon on Choreography and the Gallery, an event that was part of the 2016 Biennale of Sydney and held at AGNSW. It is supported by The School of the Arts and Media, UNSW and Art & Design, UNSW.
Erin Brannigan (academic SAM)
Rochelle Haley (artist, academic A&D)
Hannah Mathews (senior curator MUMA)
Shelley Lasica (artist)
Lizzie Thomson (UNSW/SAM PhD and artist)
Thursday February 28
10am Introductions (Erin)
11-1pm session Shelley Lasica (see below)
2-3pm session Sarah Rodigari (see below)
3-4.30pm session Jessica Olivieri (see below)
4.30-5.30pm wrap-up (Erin)
Friday March 1
10-11am Re-orientation (Erin)
11-1pm session Zoe Theodore (see below)
2-4pm session Lizzie Thomson (see below)
4-5pm discussion and forward planning (Erin)
5-6pm sharing with visitors
Walking and Falling
Since 2011, I have been working with social modalities such as conversation and walking as a way to document relational knowledge about the intersection between art, life and labour. I use this process to inform the creation of poetic, text-based ephemera and performances.
In this workshop, I will share research methodologies about support systems and reproductive labour in artistic production that I have recently been developing while on residency in Paris. Over the past months, I have undertaken a series of walking conversations with choreographers, architects, philosophers and writers, focusing on ideas of strike and withdrawal through subjective, non-linear or minor forms of attention and expression. I am interested in how this is situated within a critique of art.
Workshop outline: I will begin by briefly introducing my research and present an excerpt of the performance text I have been developing. This will go for about 10-15 minutes. Following this, I will share my methodology by inviting people to go for a walk in pairs for approximately 20 minutes, the walk will be led by an enquiry topic. We will spend the remaining 20 minutes collectively discussing and reflecting on the process.
It would be ideal to do this towards the beginning of the two days as the walks are best experienced when people don’t know each other very well / at all. It’s also a nice way for participants to get to know each other’s practice.
I have proposed a one-hour structure, but it could extend for two hours if preferred.
The session will comprise two parts and address, in different ways, notions around the development of ideas individually and collectively and the relationship and implications embedded between these modes. The transmission of ideas in making work and its distribution through choreography as a subject for discussion and a mode of production that encounters the areas of originality, the body, truth and context; accumulation of and releasing from knowledge.
Considering the possibilities and limitations of space, duration, labour and spectatorship, I will share my research and curatorial findings from exhibiting choreography in gallery contexts. This research will draw upon my experiences working within various types of visual arts settings (museums, commercial galleries and kunsthalles), and explore ideas related to embodiment, intersubjectivity, documentation and participation.
This practice-based session will explore a process for generating text alongside embodied sensations. We will work together in pairs or trios. We will sit on chairs. We will touch things and be touched by things. We will speak and quietly celebrate this speaking. We will write. We will be attentive to things both possible and impossible, both alive and dead, both expressed and repressed. This research is loosely inspired by the genre of Closet Dramas written by women in the 16th and 17th centuries. It reflects my ongoing interest in interdisciplinary research, blurring the boundaries between dance, performance, visual art and writing. It questions the performance-maker’s trajectory towards the theatre and the gallery. It gives space for the artist to say no to self-promotion, at least for a short moment. It embraces the possibilities of an introverted performance with no audience other than the chairs that support our weight, the four walls that listen in to our conversations and the occasional cockroach that avoids our feet to stay alive.
It might have been otherwise: Feminist methodologies for reconsidering dance in the gallery
“How do I then act the bricoleur that we've all learned to be in various ways, without being a colonizer ... How do you keep foregrounded the ironic and iffy things you're doing and still do them seriously. Folks get mad because you can't be pinned down, folks get mad at me for not finally saying what the bottom line is on these things.”1
We will take this characteristically slippery assertion from Donna Haraway to propose methods that destabilise disciplinary hierarchy. This workshop will build on my PhD and curatorial research that address the live/document binary. Specifically focusing on Real Real, a performance program I have created as Curator of Contemporary Performance at Campbelltown Arts Centre. This workshop will involve theory and practice. http://c-a-c.com.au/real-real-performances/
1. Donna Haraway quoted by Susan Leigh Star, “Power, Technology and the Phenomenology of Conventions: on Being Allergic to Onions”, The Sociological Review VL 38, New Jersey: Blackwell Publishing Ltd, 1990) p. 49
Erin Brannigan, Lizzie Thomson, Shelley Lasica, Rochelle Haley, Sarah Rodigari, Zoe Theodore, Jess Olivieri, Deanne Butterworth, Alice Heywood, Helen Grogan, Rhiannon Newton, Ivey Wawn, Nikki Heywood, Julie-Anne Long, Brooke Stamp, Anny Motokow, Pip Wallis, Brian Fuata.
Rochelle Haley, The Invention of Depth, 2019, installation and performance commission for ‘Flat Earth Society’ at Cement Fondu. Choreographer and performer: Ivey Wawn. Photo: Yaya Stempler.
Choreography and the Gallery Salon (AGNSW, 27th April, 2016) in partnership with 2016 Sydney Biennale and UNSW.
Choreography and the Gallery was a one-day ‘salon’ exploring the creative and discursive territory between ‘the choreographic’ and the institutions and practices of art: the gallery or museum as a destination and organisation; the circumstances, conditions and objects one is surrounded by in these places; and the work of artists. Inspired by ideas of the ‘in- between’ and the blurring of art forms that are central to the 20th Biennale, this event brought together artists and thinkers working across practices and concepts now shared by both art and dance.
Presenters responded to the frameworks for thinking about the dance-gallery relationship based on their current research/practice, in short presentations in a lecture format or a performed intervention. Each participant was invited to give a 20-minute presentation on what is uppermost in their mind in relation to choreography, dance and the gallery. Participants had the choice of presenting in the Centenary Auditorium or the Central Court of the Art Gallery of New South Wales.
The event was facilitated by Erin Brannigan with the support of Melissa Ratliffe and presenters were; Phillip Adams, Deanne Butterworth, Agatha Gothe-Snape, Helen Grogan with Geoff Robinson, Anneke Jaspers, Shelley Lasica, Jo Lloyd, Hannah Mathews, Bree Richards, Stephanie Rosenthal, Emma Saunders, Brooke Stamp, Tang Fu Kuen, Lizzie Thomson, Justene Williams.
FINAL STATEMENTS – closing of Salon (Erin Brannigan and Melissa Ratliffe)
Brannigan, Erin. The Persistence of Dance: Choreography as Concept and Material in Contemporary Art NYP.
Brannigan. Erin. Choreography, Visual Art and Experimental Composition 1950s–1970s. London: Routledge, 2022). Publication due March 2022.
Brannigan, Erin, Hannah Matthews and Caroline Wake, Eds. Special Issue Performance Paradigm: Performance, Choreography and the Gallery 13 (2017).
Brannigan, Erin. ‘Choreography as Concept, Dancing as Material,’ Performance Research Vol. 26, No. 2: ‘ON (UN)KNOWNS,’ editors Hetty Blades, Scott deLahunta and Lucía Piquero (In production September 2021)
Brannigan, Erin. ‘Context, Discipline and Understanding: the Poetics of Shelley Lasica’s Gallery-based Work,’ Performance Paradigm 13 (2017), pp. 97-117.
Brannigan, Erin. ‘Choreography and the Gallery: Curation as Revision.’ Dance Research Journal 47:1 (2015): pp. 5-25.
Brannigan, Erin & Theodore, Zoe. ‘Review: Ange Goh Body Loss,’ Performance Review #2 (2021). Online: https://performancereview.online/reviews/body-loss-angela-goh.
Brannigan, Erin. and Hannah Mathews, ‘Performance, Choreography, and the Gallery: Materiality, Attention, Agency, Sensation, and Instability,’ Performance Paradigm 13 (2017), pp. 1-6.
Brannigan, Erin. ‘Positively Unassertive: Dancing in the Art Gallery of NSW,’ Broadsheet 45.2 (2016): pp.26-30.
Brannigan, E. ‘Dance in the Gallery: Process and Memory,’ pp. 8-17. In Invisible Histories. Limerick: Limerick City Art Gallery, 2018.
Brannigan, E. ‘Dancing as materiality: accumulation, texture, adornment and movement in Justene Williams’ The Curtain Breathed Deeply,’ pp. 45-48. In Justene Williams The Curtain Breathed Deeply. Artspace, Sydney 2015.
Catt, Lisa. & Sherring, Asti, Murphy, Carolyn. ‘What is the Object? Identifying and describing time-based artworks’, AICCM Bulletin, vol. 39, no. 2, pp. 86-95, 2018.
Haley, R. ‘Elastic Perspective: The diagonal line and the production of deep space’, Drawing: Research, Theory, Practice, vol. 2, no. 1, pp. 63–80, 2017,doi:10.1386/drtp.2.1.63_1
Haley, R. ‘Constructions of the moving body: drawing and dancing’, Studies in Theatre and Performance, vol. 38, no. 3, pp. 289–301, 2018, doi:10.1080/14682761.2018.1506966
Haley, R. ‘The Aesthetics of Change: Dancing the Line’, The International Journal of the Image, vol. 6, no. 4, pp. 112, 2015, doi:10.18848/2154-8560/cgp/50301
Haley, R. ‘Drawing the Immaterial Object of Dance’, Studio Research Journal, pp. 28-39, 2016.
Lasica, S. ‘Context, Do you do this often?’, Performance Paradigm, issue #13, November, 2017.
Lawson, Louise, Finbow, Acatia & Marçal, Hélia. ‘Developing a strategy for the conservation of performance-based artworks at Tate’, Journal of the Institute of Conservation, vol. 2, no. 42, pp. 114-134, 2019. doi:10.1080/19455224.2019.1604396
Lawson, Louise & Potter, Deborah. ‘Contemporary art, contemporary issues-conservation at Tate’, Journal of the Institute of Conservation, vol. 2, no. 40, pp. 121-132, 2017. doi:10.1080/19455224.2017.1318079
Lawson, Louise, Flack, Carla, McConchie, Jack & Tsai, Ming. ‘Cybernetic Umbrella, a Case Study of Collaboration. Keep it Moving Publication’, Keep It Moving? Conserving Kinetic Art. Getty Conservation Institute Proceedings. 2016.
Mathews, H. ‘Framed Movements’ [Exhibition catalogue], Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, 2014
Mathews, H (ed.) ‘To note: Notation across disciplines’, Perimeter Books, Melbourne, 2016.
Murphy, Carolyn & Treacy, Analiese 2017, ‘Drawings you can walk on -Mike Parr and the 20th Biennale of Sydney’, Light Colour Structure. Contributions to the 9th AICCM Book, Paper and Photographic Materials Symposium, vol. 9, pp. 7-17
Mathews, Hannah & Ratliff, Melissa (eds.) ‘Agatha Gothe-Snape: The Outcome is Certain’, Monash University Museum of Art amp; Perimeter Editions, Melbourne, 2020
Theodore, Z. ‘Introduction’, in Lascia, Shelley (ed.), Shelley Lasica: The Design Plot, Perimeter Books, Melbourne, 2020.
Theodore, Z. ‘Lessons From Dancing’, [Exhibition catalogue], Bus Projects, 2018.
Wallis, P. ‘It’s capricious, capricious everyday’ in Lascia, Shelley (ed.), Shelley Lasica: The Design Plot, Perimeter Books, Melbourne, 2020.
Wallis, Pip & Martine Syms, ‘Sitting with difference –Queer and Feminist Publishing: a conversation between Pip Wallis and Martine Syms’’ in Blamey, David & Haylock, Brad (eds.), Distributed, Open Editions, London, 2018.
Wallis, P. ‘Let’s stay together: The politics of collaboration’ in Goodwin, Channon (ed.), Permanent Recession: A Handbook on Art, Labour and Circumstance , Onomatopee, The Netherlands, 2019, doi:9789493148079
Wallis, P. ‘Atlanta Eke & Ghenoa Gela: Post-colonial choreography’, The National, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, 2017.
Wallis, P. ‘Laure Prouvost, Desiring Machine’, X-TRA Contemporary Art Quarterly, vol. 18, no. 3 , 2016.
Wallis, P. ‘At the Zoo with Simone Forti’, Runway, Issue 28, 2015 .
Haley, R. 2018, Constructions of the Moving Body (after Trisha Brown’s Accumulation) #6-8, Documents, Alternative #2, Verge Gallery, University of Sydney, 18 January 2018 -25 February 2018, medium: 3 works of watercolour on paper 40 x 30 cm
Haley, R. 2018, Reach, Documents, Alternatives #3, Bath School of Art and Design (BSAD), United Kingdom, 20 April 2018 12 May 2018
Haley, R. 2017, Constructions of the Moving Body (After Trisha Brown’s Accumulation) #2-5, DOCUMENTS, ALTERNATIVES(#1), Airspace Gallery, Stoke on Trent, UK, 17 November 2017 -16 December 2017, medium: Body of work, watercolour and pastel on translucent paper 31 x 23cm
Haley, R. 2017, Vicarious Movement: human-machine painting (Blue Red & Green), Re/pair, The Big Anxiety Festival, UNSW Art & Design Black Box, Sydney, 08 November 2017 -10 November 2017, medium: drone assisted spray painting on canvas
Haley, R. 2016, Constructions of the Moving Body (after Trisha Brown’s Accumulation), The Alternative Document, Project Space Plus, Lincoln Performing Arts Centre, University of Lincoln, 12 February 2016 -11 March 2016, medium: Watercolour and pastel on translucent paper
Haley, Rochelle & Angela Goh, Ivey Wawn, 2014, Spatial Forms Live Drawing, Quo Vadis: the last drawing show, UNSW GALLERIES, Sydney, 20 September 2014 -11 October 2014, medium: Live drawing and dance improvisation performance
Haley, R. 2010, Gesture and Trace, Gesture and Trace, Drawing Spaces, Lisbon, Portugal, 16 June 2010 26 June 2010, medium: Drawing, Dance, Performance
Haley, R. 2010, Pass, Pass, Performing Arts Forum, St Erme, France, 01 July 2010 -30 July 2010, medium: Drawing, Performance.
Lasica, Shelley & Zoe Theodore, 2019, TO DO / TO MAKE 2, 215 Albion, Brunswick, co-curators.
Lasica, S. 2019, If I Don’t Understand You, Neon Parc, Brunswick, ensemble performance.
Lasica, S. 2019, Dress, as part Never the same river, Anna Schwartz Gallery x Melbourne Festival, solo performance.
Lasica, Shelley & Zoe Theodore, 2018, TO DO / TO MAKE 1, 215 Albion, Brunswick, co-curators.
Lasica, S. 2018, Greater Union, as part of TO DO / TO MAKE 2’, 215 Albion, Brunswick, duet performance.
Lasica, S. 2018, Behaviour Part 7, ensemble performance, as part of ‘TO DO / TO MAKE’, 215 Albion, Brunswick, duet performance.
Lasica, S. 2016-2020, The Design Plot, ensemble performance, The Substation, Melbourne, Sutton Projects, Melbourne, MPavillion, Melbourne, Gertrude Glasshouse, Melbourne, RMIT Design Hub, Melbourne, ensemble performance.
Lasica, S. 2017, Behaviour Part 7, Union House, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, ensemble performance.
Lasica, S. 2017, The Shape of Things to Come, solo performance, as part of ‘Superposition of three types’, Artspace, Sydney and ‘I Love Pat Larter’, Neon Parc, Brunswick, ensemble performance.
Lasica, S. 2016, How Choreography Works, with Deanne Butterworth and Jo Lloyd for the 20th Biennale of Sydney, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney and West Space, Melbourne.
Lasica, S. 2016, Solos for Other People, as part of Dance Massive 2015, Basketball Gymnasium Carlton baths, ensemble performance.
Lasica, Shelley & Helen Grogan and Anne Marie May, 2014, Inside Vianne Again, as part of ‘Melbourne Now,’ National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, installation.
Lasica, S. 2012, Vianne Again, School of Art, Monash University, Iwaki Auditorium, ABC Centre, Southbank, Melbourne, RMIT Design Hub, Melbourne, ensemble performance.
Lasica, S. 2006, The Idea of It, Anna Schwartz Gallery, Melbourne, solo performance.
Lasica, S. 1998, Dress, Anna Schwartz Gallery, Melbourne, solo performance.
Lasica, S. 1996, Behaviour Part 6, Square Dance, solo performance, Anna Schwartz Gallery, Melbourne, solo performance.
Lasica, S. 1995, Behaviour Part 4, Anna Schwartz Gallery, Melbourne; IMA, Brisbane; Experimental Art Foundation, Adelaide, solo performance.
Lasica, S. 1994, Behaviour Part 3, solo performance, as part of Rhythm Method, South Bank Centre, London, solo performance.
Lasica, S. 1994, Behaviour Part 1 & 2, solo performance, Athenaeum Theatre and Anna Schwartz Gallery, Melbourne, Performance Space and Yuill/Crowley Gallery, Sydney and Experimental Art Foundation, Adelaide, solo performance.
Lasica, S. 1993, Triplex, solo performance, PICA, Perth, IMA, Brisbane, The Hacienda, Manchester, England, The Green Room, The Corner House, solo performance.
Lasica, S. 1993, Behaviour Part 1, Store 5, Melbourne, solo performance.
Lasica, S. 1992, Happening, Store 5, Melbourne, solo performance.
Lasica, S. 1991, Happening Simultaneously, City Gallery, Melbourne, solo performance.
Lasica, S. 1989, Physical Culture, lecture and seminar series on contemporary dance, exhibition, 200 Gertrude Street, Melbourne, curator.
Mathews, H. 2020, ‘Agatha Gothe-Snape: The Outcome is Certain’, Monash University Museum of Art, curator.
Mathews, H. 2016, ‘To Note: Notation across disciplines, RMIT Design Hub, curator.
Mathews, H 2015, ‘To Write: Writing on Dance workshop, Dance Massive Festival’, curator. http://dancemassive.com.au/
Mathews, H. 2014, ‘Framed Movements, Melbourne Arts Festival, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art , curator.
Mathews, H. 2014, ‘Trisha Brown Dance Company, Early Works workshop’, curator.
Mathews, H. 2013, ‘Action/Response’, Dance Massive 2013, curator.
Mathews, H. 2013, ‘Yvonne Rainer’s Trio A workshop’, PICA, Perth, curator.
Theodore, Z. 2018, ‘Lessons From Dancing’, Bus Projects, curator.
Wallis, P. 2018, Simone Forti, Huddle, in MoMA at NGV ‘130 years of Modern and Contemporary Art’, National Gallery of Victoria, 2018, assistant curator.
Wallis, P. 2016, ‘Ahmet Ögût, Happy Together’, Chisenhale Gallery, London, assistant curator.
Wallis, P. 2015, ‘Atlanta Eke, Miss Universal’, Gertrude Contemporary, curator.
Wallis, P. 2015, ‘Brian Fuata, Ghost’, Chisenhale Gallery, London, curator
Performance: Conservation, Materiality, Knowledge
Unravelling the complexities involved in the conservation of performance-based forms, Performance: Conservation, Materiality, Knowledge aims to expose the theoretical and practical apparatuses of conservation, its attachment to traditional paradigms, and the resultant shortcomings in the sphere of the intangible
The Democracy of Beings is the second of two programmes, following an initial research phase (DM1) that ran from June 2015 to March 2017. You can find details of DM1 here. In this period of accelerated change, there is an urgent need for professionalism, shared vocabulary and a coherent conceptual framework that makes sense of the many different approaches to audience engagement.