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January 10
6:36 PM 2013


The Museum of Modern Art presents Performing Histories: Live Artworks Examining the Past, a performance series held in conjunction with two exhibitions at MoMA: Tokyo 1950-1970: A New Avant-Garde (November 18, 2012, to February 25, 2013) and Inventing Abstraction, 1910-1925 (December 23, 2012, to April 15, 2013). These performances constitute "live" responses to the contexts of the two exhibitions, highlighting various artistic methods of engaging with history through a wide range of forms-dance, music, theater, and performance art. The series includes works by Eiko & Koma, Ei Arakawa, Trajal Harrell, contact Gonzo, Kelly Nipper with Japanther, and Fabian Barba.

Performing Histories: Live Artworks Examining the Past emphasizes the travel and translation of artistic ideas, cultural forms, and historical motivations. The included works will trace pathways from early to mid-20th century, from European modernism to the Japanese post- war avant-garde, as well as through MoMA's own institutional history. The swathe of performances in this series share an interest in holding the past and the present in close proximity- reinterpreting established narratives, reconfiguring contemporary understanding, and imagining different futures.

The series is organized by Sabine Breitwieser, Chief Curator, and Ana Janevski, Associate Curator, with Leora Morinis, Curatorial Assistant, and Jill Samuels, Performance Producer, Department of Media and Performance Art. Performances related to Tokyo 1955-1970 are co- organized by Doryun Chong, Associate Curator, Department of Painting and Sculpture. Performances related to Inventing Abstraction, 1910-1925, are co-organized by Leah Dickerman, Curator, Department of Painting and Sculpture.

Admission to the performances is free for Museum members and for Museum ticketholders. Admission to the performances only in the Titus Theaters is $12 adults; $10 seniors, 65 years and over with I.D.; $8 full-time students with current I.D.

The Museum of Modern Art will be live streaming video of performances occurring in the Roy and Niuta Titus Theaters at


In conjunction with Tokyo 1955-1970
Eiko & Koma
The Caravan Project
January 16-21, The Agnes Gund Garden Lobby

The Caravan Project (1999, 2011, 2012) is a "museum by delivery" installation and durational performance work created and performed by Eiko & Koma. Eiko and/or Koma will perform in a specially modified mobile trailer during Museum hours, allowing viewers to come and go as they please. The trailer, which can be seen as a hearse, cave, or internal body, is open on all four sides, enabling viewers to experience the work from whichever perspective they choose.

Ei Arakawa
Paris & Wizard: The Musical
Backdrop projections by Simon Denny
Compositions by Stefan Tcherepnin
February 6, 7:00 p.m.; February 7, 3:00 and 7:00 p.m., The Roy and Niuta Titus Theater 2

In this new commission, New York-based Japanese artist Ei Arakawa examines certain pivotal storylines of early Japanese video art in the 1970s, transforming them into a musical form. Paris & Wizard is based on particular relationships between Barbara London, a longtime MoMA curator, and video artists around Japan. The musical highlights creative curiosities for newly available media, along with the personal ties that enabled the export of this new scene to North American and European contexts.

Trajal Harrell
Used, Abused, and Hung Out to Dry
Collaborators include Stéfane Perraud, Amateur Boyz, Sp Ps, ComplexGeometries, Thibault Lac, ?Mina Nishimura, David Bergé, and Imani Uzuri.
February 13 and 14, 8:00 p.m., The Agnes Gund Garden Lobby

This new work stems partially from Harrell's research into the life and work of Japanese choreographer Tatsumi Hijikata (1928-1986), and his development of butoh, a dance form he created in part to resist the conservatism he saw permeating the choreography of postwar Japan. Hijikata situated butoh as an outlaw, literary, and surrealist dance form, drawing on themes of death, criminality, abjection, and corporeality.

contact Gonzo
Untitled Movements
February 22, 11:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.; February 23, 2:00 p.m.; February 24, 2:00 p.m.
The Agnes Gund Garden Lobby

Founded in 2006, contact Gonzo is an improvisational performance group based in Osaka, Japan. The name Gonzo, which means eccentric or hooligan, is a reference to 1970s Gonzo Journalism in the United States, a form of journalism that made no claims of objectivity and favored first-person narratives. The group has developed a specific mode of contact improvisation that borrows from sources ranging from martial arts to Internet trends. Based on both physical strength and agility, and trusting relationships within the group, contact Gonzo powerfully balances elements of contemporary dance, performance art, and urban and popular cultures.

In conjunction with Inventing Abstraction
Kelly Nipper with Japanther
Tessa Pattern Takes a Picture
Dancer and Rehearsal Director: Marissa Ruazol
Laban/Bartenieff Movement Analysis Instruction: Ed Groff
Music Composed and Performed by Japanther
Production Assistants: Sean C. Flaherty and Claire Nereim
January 30, 7:00 p.m.; January 31, 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., The Roy and Niuta Titus Theater 1

In this new commission, Kelly Nipper delves into thematics such as focus, contrast, exposure, gradient, and ritual, tracing the ways in which these notions run through-and shape-both the medium of photography and 20th-century choreography and movement theory. The piece is partially inspired by Nipper's research into various subjects, including the choreography of Mary Wigman, Laban Movement Analysis, and the processes and formal qualities of photography and the camera. In parallel to the working methods of certain turn-of-the-century avant-gardes, the development of this work has been pointedly and profoundly collaborative; each choice is made in counter-tension or response to the existing dynamics of the performance, with each collaborator working into, through, and against the others.

Fabian Barba
A Mary Wigman Dance Evening
February 1, 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.
The Roy and Niuta Titus Theater 1

For A Mary Wigman Dance Evening-a program of nine solo dances-Fabian Barba takes as his starting point choreographer Mary Wigman's celebrated first tour through the United States (1930-31), during which she performed nine dances. Of these, only three were preserved on film, and so, to "reconstruct" the remaining six, Barba has resorted to photographs, hearsay, written records, the historical imagination, and subjective interpretation. Ultimately, the work proves less focused on recuperating any kind of authentic original, and more engaged in testing the possibility of transporting some of the atmospheric, gestural, and affective qualities of Wigman's dances-all while acknowledging both the supplement and the loss incurred by translation, and taking pleasure in the fundamental differences between bodies.

Performing Histories will continue in March 2013 with performances by Simone Forti and Andrea Geyer. Further details and schedule are to be announced.

Related Exhibitions:

Tokyo 1955-1970: A New Avant-Garde, on view November 18, 2012, to February 25, 2013, is the first museum exhibition to focus on the city of Tokyo during the remarkable period from the mid- 1950s through the 1960s, when the city transformed itself from the capital of a war-torn nation into an international center for arts, culture, and commerce. Tokyo 1955-1970 draws from MoMA's collection of Japanese works across curatorial departments in addition to over 100 works on loan from important public and private collections in Japan and the United States. The exhibition is organized by Doryun Chong, Associate Curator, with Nancy Lim, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Painting and Sculpture, The Museum of Modern Art. The exhibition is co-organized and supported by The Japan Foundation.

Inventing Abstraction, 1910-1925, on view from December 23, 2012, to April 15, 2013, explores the advent of abstraction as both a historical idea and an emergent artistic practice. Commemorating the centennial of the moment at which a series of artists invented abstraction, the exhibition is a sweeping survey of more than 350 artworks in a broad range of mediums- including paintings, drawings, prints, books, sculptures, films, photographs, recordings, and dance pieces-that represent a radical moment when the rules of art making were fundamentally transformed. The exhibition is organized by Leah Dickerman, Curator, with Masha Chlenova, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Painting and Sculpture, The Museum of Modern Art.

The Museum of Modern Art, 11 West 53 Street, New York, NY 10019, (212) 708-9400, Hours: Wednesday through Monday, 10:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Friday, 10:30 a.m.-8:00 p.m. Closed Tuesday Museum Admission: $25 adults; $18 seniors, 65 years and over with I.D.; $14 full-time students with current I.D. Free, members and children 16 and under. (Includes admittance to Museum galleries and film programs). $25 adults; $18 seniors, 65 years and over with I.D.; $14 full-time students with current I.D. No service charge for tickets ordered on Tickets purchased online may be printed out and presented at the Museum without waiting in line. (Includes admittance to Museum galleries and film programs). Film Admission: $12 adults; $10 seniors, 65 years and over with I.D.; $8 full-time students with current I.D. (for admittance to film programs only)

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