New York

Jane Comfort

Joyce Theater

Jane Comfort’s dance extravaganza, S/He, 1994, shows us what the latest gender wars actually look like when danced and set to music. Every movement is a loaded example of how men and women inhabit space—do they simper or strut, cross their legs or spread them—which raises the age-old nature/nurture question to the point that you want to spend time in front of a mirror, weeding out your own politically incorrect gestures. Take the way you prop your chin on your hand, as though staring dreamily our the window without a care in the world—that’s not natural, it’s just another white woman’s pose. Or a certain way of holding your head, moving from side to side, that grew out of hip-hop culture and was popularized by MTV, again a culturally specific “body language.” In this way, Comfort compiles a repertoire of movements that reflect gender roles and specific ethnicities, which, through repetition

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. Please sign in below.

Not registered for Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW and save up to 65% off the newsstand price for full online access to this issue and our archive.

Order the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.