January 10
6:36 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.

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