new-york

Constance DeJong, SpeakChamber, 2013. Performance view, May 24, 2013. Constance DeJong.

Constance DeJong

Bureau

Constance DeJong, SpeakChamber, 2013. Performance view, May 24, 2013. Constance DeJong.

This past May, Contstance DeJong delivered twelve performances of SpeakChamber, 2013, a nearly hour-long narrative recited from memory. The gallery’s intimate space was swathed in dark gray soundproofing foam, with a spotlight illuminating a chair where DeJong sat adjacent to a table supporting an iMac and a few books. Five simple wooden benches could accommodate a maximum of eighteen people per show. Unsurprisingly, all spots were claimed quickly by RSVP—DeJong, a beacon of video and new-media art, known for her collaborations (notably with Philip Glass for the 1979 opera Satyagraha), had not performed publicly in ten years.

The artist seamlessly wove together numerous stories, layering fact and fiction and invoking a litany of characters, sometimes speaking in their voices. Although mostly nonthematic, SpeakChamber addresses the histories and migrations of people as well

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