Joyce SoHo Presents LOVE LETTERS IN ANCIENT BRICK, 11/3 -5


How many people, even Oxford scholars, are fluent in ancient Brick? "Love Letters in Ancient Brick," a witty, whimsical, surreal dance/performance work by a group of Swiss artists inspired by George Herriman's classic American comic strip, Krazy Kat, will receive its American premiere at Joyce SoHo, November 3-5.

Set in a three-dimensional comic strip box that recalls Coconino County, the metaphysical desert where Herriman's original story took place, "Love Letters in Ancient Brick" tells of Krazy Kat, whose obsessive love of Ignatz Mouse is met with the mouse's ongoing disdain. Offissa Bull Pupp, the county policeman, tries to protect the guileless Krazy Kat from the bricks rocketed at him by the contemptuous Ignatz Mouse. So blinded by his passion for Ignatz, Krazy Kat interprets the bricks aimed at his head as missives of love. The policeman remains hell-bent on locking the cruel mouse into the county jail for his lawless behavior. And so it goes, on and on, again and again. Like the original comic strip, the performance is about obsession, love, hate, the confusions in gender, and repetition-all told with poetic wit and sweet irony.

Premiered in March 2011 in Geneva, "Love Letters in Ancient Brick" is conceived and directed by visual artist Mai-Thu Perret. The choreography is by Perret and French choreographer Laurence Yadi. The music for the show is by Vincent de Roguin, and the songwriter is Tamara Barnett-Herrin, who will perform live. The costumes are by the Paris- based fashion designer Ligia Dias.
Mai-Thu Perret, 35, who holds a BA in English literature from Cambridge University, has worked as an assistant to various New York artists including John Tremblay and Steven Parrino. She began to show her own work in Switzerland and abroad in 1999, and in 2002 moved back to New York, where she attended the Whitney Independent Study Program. In 2004, she took part in Art Basel's Statements, a section of the fair devoted to solo presentations by young artists. In 2006, she was given a solo exhibition at the Renaissance Society in Chicago, followed by one person shows in various museums and institutions including the Bonnefanten Museum in Maastricht in 2007, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Kitchen in New York City in 2008, the Aspen Art Museum in 2009, and the 54th Venice Biennial ILLUMInations in 2011. She was awarded the Swiss Federal prize for Fine Arts 2004 and 2006, the Kiefer Bablitzel Prze in 2006, and the 2011 Manor Art Prize, which will be accompanied by a solo exhibition at Mamco in Geneva. In 2009, she co-curated shows at the Pompidou Center in Paris and Kunsthalle Bern.

All performances of "Love Letters in Ancient Brick," November 3-5, are at 8pm.
Tickets are $15, and can be purchased online at, by calling 212-242-0800, or in person at The Joyce Soho box office, 155 Mercer Street at W Houston.

The performances are a presentation of Swiss Institute and Performa in partnership with Joyce SoHo.

The New York performances of "Love Letters in Ancient Brick" received financial support from Pro Helvetia, Swiss Arts Council, Geneva City, Fonds Municipal d'Art Contemporain (FMAC), Geneva State, Department of Education, Schweizerische Interpretenstiftung (SIS), David Kordansky Gallery, and The Joyce Theater Foundation, which owns and operates Joyce SoHo.
Performa 11 (November 1-21, 2011) is the fourth edition of the internationally acclaimed biennial of new visual art performance presented by Performa, the leading organization dedicated to exploring the critical role of live performance in the history of twentieth-century art and to encouraging new directions in performance for the twenty-first century.

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