Samara Davis

  • interviews September 05, 2018

    Deborah Hay

    Deborah Hay is a pioneering choreographer in the field of experimental dance and one of the founding members of the Judson Dance Theater. Below, Hay describes her work in the 1960s with the Cunningham Dance Company as well as with Judson—a moment that signaled for her both a departure from her formal training and a movement toward what would later become her signature practice. These words are reprinted from artforum.com’s 2012 package of interviews celebrating Judson’s fiftieth anniversary. For more from Hay and other participants in the revolutionary dance movement, visit the Judson feature

  • interviews July 02, 2017

    Emily Roysdon

    Emily Roysdon’s exhibition “scenic, say” at Kunsthalle Lissabon marks a transitional moment in the artist’s work as she shifts from her site-specific performance and text project Uncounted, 2014–17. Here, the Stockholm-based artist discusses moving forward and creating spaces for both “alive time” and loss. The show is on view through September 2, 2017.

    WHEN KUNSTHALLE LISSABON contacted me about doing an exhibition a year and a half ago, I imagined I’d soon be stepping out of my project Uncounted. Uncounted began as a collection of textual fragments, phrases, and questions that influence each

  • picks January 29, 2016

    “Performing the Grid”

    There’s nothing more satisfying than a grid, at least for those daunted by the blank page of unfettered creative freedom. But perhaps the latter is an illusion, and no attempt at creativity exists without constraint. The sixteen artists in “Performing the Grid,” for instance, take full pleasure in being line-bound.

    Most of the works here encourage proximity not only to the object displayed but to the practice behind it as well. For example, Charles Gaines’s triptych portrait Faces: Men and Women, #14 “Charles Hanzieck,”, 1978, draws viewers toward Gaines’s tiny handwritten numbers in hundreds of

  • interviews October 16, 2015

    Rebecca Patek

    Rebecca Patek is a New York–based performance artist and choreographer whose work combines elements from dance, comedy, and the visual arts to create often uncomfortable theater and performance situations that involve instances of satire and violence. As part of MoMA PS1’s latest iteration of “Greater New York,” Patek was invited to perform a new work for an upcoming Sunday Session, titled “The Cringe: Performance and Anxiety,” along with the artist Ieva Misevičiūtė, who will also be presenting on October 18, 2015. Here, Patek discusses the precarious development of her new piece.

    I’M INTERESTED

  • interviews September 14, 2015

    Jibz Cameron

    Jibz Cameron is a Los Angeles–based artist who has been performing as her alter ego Dynasty Handbag for over a decade. In conjunction with a staging of her 2015 piece Good Morning Evening Feelings at the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art’s TBA:15 festival on September 17, Cameron’s exhibition “Simply the Worst” is on view through October 18, 2015, at the Portland Museum of Modern Art in Portland, Oregon. Here Cameron discusses these shows in addition to the TV pilot she is developing.

    GOOD MORNING EVENING FEELINGS is a one-woman show. It’s like a daytime, nighttime, children’s, and adults’

  • picks January 30, 2015

    Emily Roysdon

    Handmade clocks and sundial calendars populate Emily Roysdon’s latest exhibition, where geometric shapes and popping colors produce a scene reminiscent of the 1980s Italian design group Memphis or of the magnetic pages of Colorforms collages. Roysdon’s fashioning of time renders the arrangement of objects in space a dramaturgical feat. An upside-down triangle motif is prominently cast in bold sculptural forms, the top line of which traces the identical crescent-like ridges of a rudimentary wave drawing. In Beyond the Will to Measure, 2014, a stretch of uniform royal-blue ceramic wave-triangles

  • picks November 23, 2014

    Aki Sasamoto

    “What is romance?” asked Aki Sasamoto in a recent performance at JTT gallery. Clad in optical blinders, she stumbled about, welcoming the audience with beer bottles in hand. Astrud Gilberto tracks played on repeat from overhead, and the packed crowd reassembled almost magnetically around Sasamoto as she moved. Her art of making room in tight places is epitomized in these shows—four of which are slated for the exhibition’s run. In the off-performance hours, the gallery is a bare-bones café with do-it yourself service—beers are in the fridge, there’s an espresso machine, and the lighting is

  • interviews October 29, 2014

    Xavier Le Roy

    Xavier Le Roy has worked as a choreographer and dancer since 1991, and he is well known for pieces that highlight audience-performer relationships. In his debut US survey exhibition, on view at MoMA PS1 as part of the French Institute Alliance Française's Crossing the Line festival, dancers perform excerpts from works Le Roy made between 1994 and 2010, all of which address the complicated negotiations performers engage in as both subjects and objects. The show is on view through December 1, 2014.

    LAURENCE RASSEL, from the Fundació Antoni Tàpies in Barcelona, commissioned “Retrospective” in 2012.

  • picks July 18, 2014

    “The View from the Window”

    The fragrance from Sophy Naess’s eight hanging soap slabs pervades this small white-boxed gallery, where curator Lumi Tan has presented works by three artists. Embedded in Naess’s soaps are tiny things: Pieces of weeds and flowers float next to funny trash items and found treasures. The contents are carefully arranged, whether suspended in color blocks or scattered just beneath the soap’s surface, and each tablet depicts a different landscape of secret meanings and spells. A take-away printout lists the ingredients in two clean yet crowded columns, with items ranging from “EYE OF HORUS” and “

  • interviews July 05, 2013

    Michelle Boulé

    Michelle Boulé is a New York–based dancer and choreographer. She will be performing BREAK>Urge>Imprint, 2013, a collaborative work with cellist Okkyung Lee, at Mount Tremper Arts Summer Festival in Mount Tremper, New York, on July 6, and a new duet with dancer Lindsay Clark at Movement Research at Judson Church in the fall of 2013. Here, Boulé talks about her choreographic debut, WONDER, a solo performance commissioned by ISSUE Project Room.

    WATCHING DANCE RAISES questions about what we want to experience. How much of it should be about satisfaction? And what creates that satisfaction?

    I’ve been

  • picks June 06, 2013

    “Stand Close”

    Perched on the second-floor balcony overlooking the large square expanse that houses ONE’s library, “Stand Close, It’s Shorter Than You Think: A show on feminist rage,” presented by Artist Curated Projects, places works by artists boychild, RJ Messineo, MPA, and Guadalupe Rosales along the building’s interior perimeter. Together, in this setting, they stress that feminist rage is in fact a collective feeling and one not without its own history.

    MPA’s performance documentation fluently demonstrates the many ways an event can be framed and reframed. In “Polaroid Series,” 2010, Schneemann-esque

  • interviews March 13, 2013

    Bridget Everett

    Bridget Everett is a New York–based performer and lead singer of the band the Tender Moments. A denizen of Joe’s Pub—Everett is former cohost of Our Hit Parade, along with Kenny Mellman and Neal Medlyn—she currently performs at the venue monthly with her band. Here, she talks about her love for singing and the community of performers who feed her passion. In addition to releasing their first album this spring, the Tender Moments will be playing at Joe’s Pub on March 20 and April 24, 2013.

    I MOVED TO NEW YORK in 1997 to be a singer but I never had a clear idea of how that was going to happen.

  • interviews January 29, 2013

    Claude Wampler

    Claude Wampler is a New York–based artist who investigates the boundaries of spectatorship in the visual and performing arts. Here, she discusses the impetuses behind her latest work, N’a pas un gramme de charisme., (Not an ounce of charisma.), which she created in collaboration with Amelia Saul, Antonius Wiriadjaja, and John Tremblay. N’a pas un gramme de charisme. will be presented at the Kitchen in New York from January 31 to February 3, 2013.

    I’M A VISUAL ARTIST, but I also work in the field of performance. I always consider myself a visual artist because it is all visual art in the end. I

  • interviews November 07, 2012

    Simone Forti

    Simone Forti has been choreographing movement and sound since the age of twenty-one. Born in 1935, she immigrated to Los Angeles from Florence, Italy, while still young, and moved to San Francisco in 1956. There, she studied with choreographer and movement practitioner Anna Halprin for several years before leaving for New York and later becoming involved with the group that would be called the Judson Dance Theater. In this interview, which is part of artforum.com’s ongoing commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of Judson, Forti recalls her transition from Halprin’s studio to Robert Dunn’s

  • interviews October 31, 2012

    Deborah Hay

    Deborah Hay is a pioneering choreographer in the field of experimental dance and one of the founding members of the Judson Dance Theater. As part of artforum.com’s commemoration of Judson’s fiftieth anniversary, here Hay describes her work in the 1960s with the Cunningham Dance Company as well as with Judson—a moment that signaled for her both a departure from her formal training and a movement toward what would later become her signature practice. Hay’s new work, Blues, will be performed November 2–4 at MoMA as part of Ralph Lemon’s series Some Sweet Day.

    WHEN I WAS EIGHTEEN, I went to the

  • interviews September 25, 2012

    DD Dorvillier

    DD Dorvillier is a choreographer, performer, and teacher. With her company, human future dance corps, she will be presenting a new work titled Danza Permanente on September 26–30 at The Kitchen in New York, copresented with the French Institute Alliance Française’s 2012 Crossing the Line Festival. Here, Dorvillier ruminates on the impetus behind this new work.

    DANZA PERMANENTE is a transposition of Beethoven’s String Quartet in A Minor, Op. 132, into movement for four dancers, each dancer taking the part of an instrument line. I wanted to investigate how music functions in relation to feelingness

  • interviews August 15, 2012

    Elaine Summers

    Elaine Summers was born in 1925 in Perth and was raised in Boston. In 1952 she moved to New York and attended workshops led by Robert Ellis Dunn, a musician for the Merce Cunningham Dance Company. The workshop group later formed the Judson Dance Theater. A choreographer, filmmaker, and pioneer of intermedia performance, Summers is also known for developing the Kinetic Awareness movement practice. On September 6th and 7th her 1976 work Windows in the Kitchen will be presented as part of the American Dance Guild Performance Festival at the Alvin Ailey Citigroup Theater.

    As part of artforum.com’s

  • interviews July 31, 2012

    Anna Halprin

    Born in 1920 in Illinois, Anna Halprin studied modern dance and later abandoned her training in favor of improvisation and other investigative movement practices. Considered one of the pioneers of postmodern dance, Halprin founded the San Francisco Dancers’ Workshop in 1955, hosting and collaborating with many of the dancers and artists who later founded the Judson Dance Theater. For decades Halprin has been at the forefront of the expressive arts healing movement and continues to teach workshops at the Tamalpa Institute in Marin County, California—an organization she founded with her daughter