News Column

The Getty and Performa Co-Commission New Choreography by Yvonne Rainer, to be Performed at the Getty Oct. 3 and 4, 2014

August 13, 2014



LOS ANGELES, Aug. 13 -- J. Paul Getty Trust issued the following news release:

The J. Paul Getty Museum, the Getty Research Institute, and Performa have commissioned a new piece by avant-garde choreographer Yvonne Rainer (American, born. 1934). On October 3 and 4, 2014, the Getty will present the performances of the in-progress work The Concept of Dust, or How do you look when there's nothing left to move? along with performances of Rainer's recent piece Assisted Living: Do You Have Any Money? (2013).

These events are presented in conjunction with the ongoing Getty Research Institute exhibition Yvonne Rainer: Dances and Films, which is on view at the Getty Center through October 12, 2014.

"Yvonne Rainer has been making challenging, radical works of art that are both deeply personal and politically relevant for 50 years," said Thomas W. Gaehtgens, director of the Getty Research Institute. "Working closely with artists like Rainer is a significant part of the research and collecting that we do here at the Getty."

Director of the Getty Museum Timothy Potts noted that "In collaboration, Performa, the GRI, and the Getty Museum are bringing some of the most forward-thinking and provocative performance art of our time in the form of Rainer's unparalleled vision to our audiences. It is an ongoing commitment of the Getty to work with important living artists such as Rainer, and we are delighted to welcome her back."

A dancer, choreographer, filmmaker, and writer, Rainer is one of the most influential artistic figures of the last 50 years, a standout across multiple disciplines: dance, cinema, minimalism, conceptual art, feminist art, and postmodernism. The Getty has a long history with Rainer, having presented several performances of hers since 2004. Rainer was an artist in residence as part of the Getty Research Institute's Scholars Program in 2005. The Getty Research Institute acquired her archive in 2006 and her 2008 dance work Spiraling Down was commissioned jointly by the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Getty Research Institute, and the World Performance Project at Yale. Since her Performa Commission, RoS Indexical in 2007, Performa has been the producer of all projects by Rainer and her dancers, touring the company to Centre Pompidou, Documenta, and the Hebbel Theater in Berlin.

"I cannot think of another artist whose work has for more than five decades had an impact on the trajectory of so many disciplines - dance, film and visual art, in this country and internationally-- and which continues to be a touchstone for new and emerging artists," commented RoseLee Goldberg, Founding Director and Curator of Performa. "Rainer is forever radical. Her newest works serve to remind us of why her ideas have endured," Goldberg continues. "She is truly a National Treasure."

Both of the works that Rainer will present at the Getty touch on themes of aging, death, play, and the current socioeconomic situation in America.

The new commission, The Concept of Dust, or How do you look when there's nothing left to move? (2014), is an in-progress work. Interwoven with personal themes of aging, mortality and humor are various texts, intermittently read by Rainer and the dancers, dealing with ancient Mideast dynasties, paleontological findings, and literary quotations. In addition to the commission, the work has been supported by an artistic residency at the Gibney Dance Center in New York.

In Assisted Living: Do You Have Any Money? Rainer juxtaposes Laurel and Hardy, Keynesian economics, and vaudeville. Introduced by Rainer as a carnival barker, the performance revolves around the current American socioeconomic situation, meditations on aging, and movement sequences from an early piece of choreography, At My Body's House (1963). Dancers recite a variety of texts, including jokes, newspaper stories, and film monologues, while performing complicated combinations of steps in various groupings. It is supported by University of California, Irvine School of the Arts.

Yvonne Rainer: Two Works will take place at the Getty Center in Los Angeles on Friday and Saturday, October 3 and 4, 2014, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 ($15 for students and seniors). Reservations are strongly encouraged and can be made online at www.getty.edu.

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