Liveness: Reflecting on the Current State and Future Possibilities of Performance and Theater
In a time of uncertainty and disruption in the fields of performance and theatre, there is a necessary call to reflect, reassess, and to ask: what do we hold onto, what do we let go of? What can we learn from this moment, and how will it change what we make, how we work? Organized and moderated by REDCAT’s Deputy Executive Director & Curator, Edgar Miramontes, these questions will lead a discussion with artist taisha paggett, artist & Associate Curator of Performance & Public Practice at MCA Chicago, Tara Aisha Willis and artist Lars Jan.
This FREE event will be held on Zoom. To register, please click here.
ABOUT THE PANELISTS
Tara Aisha Willis is a PhD candidate in Performance Studies at New York University and Associate Curator in Performance & Public Practice at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. Willis is an editorial collective member of Women & Performance, co-edited an issue of The Black Scholar with Thomas F. DeFrantz, held a NYPL Jerome Robbins Dance Division Research Fellowship, and co-edited the performance writing project, Marking the Occasion (Wendy’s Subway, 2020) with Jaime Shearn Coan. She performed in a collaboration by Will Rawls and Claudia Rankine (2016–19) and in The Skeleton Architecture’s 2016 “Bessie” award-winning performance. Willis was the founding administrator of Movement Research’s Artists of Color Council, and in the first working group for “Creating New Futures,” the COVID-19 responsive guidelines for ethical dance presenting.
The son of émigrés from Afghanistan and Poland, Lars Jan is a director, artist, writer, and activist known for visually striking, genre-bending performance and installation works exploring emerging technologies, live gatherings, and unclassifiable experience. Jan’s original works — including The White Album, Holoscenes, The Institute of Memory (TIMe), Abacus, and Slow Moving Luminaries — have been presented by BAM Next Wave Festival, Whitney Museum, Sundance Film Festival, Art Basel, CAP UCLA, Center Theatre Group, Under the Radar Festival, PICA’s TBA Festival, ICA Boston, YBCA, Wexner Center, On the Boards, Toronto Nuit Blanche, London’s Burning Festival, Poland’s Boska Komedia Festival, NYU Abu Dhabi, Istanbul Modern, and The Sydney Festival. Several of his early works were presented by REDCAT. He is a recipient of 2008 Sherwood and 2016 YBCA100 Awards, and is the winner of the 3rd Audemars Piguet Art Commission. His climate change-themed installation, Holoscenes, created a sensation in Times Square, coinciding with the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accords. His recent staging of Joan Didion’s seminal essay The White Album culminates with a Quaker-style conversation around themes of protest. He is a TED Senior Fellow and Sundance New Frontier Story Lab advisor. Lars is represented by Charlie James Gallery and on faculty at CalArts.
Born and raised in Fresno, CA, taisha paggett is an interdisciplinary dance artist whose individual and collaborative works re-articulate and collide specific western choreographic practices with the politics of daily life so to contemplate and interrupt fixed histories of Black and queer embodiment, desire, placemaking, possibility and survival. Recent works include the dance company project, WXPT (we are the paper, we are the trees) and the collaborative School for the Movement of the Technicolo(u)r People, both of which also draw upon inquiries inside of social practice; critical pedagogy; somatic and contemplative investigation; queer, feminist and Black studies; performance and visual art studies; as well as the political and philosophical meshes of personal history. paggett is the 2019 recipient of the Foundation for Contemporary Arts’ Merce Cunningham Award. She teaches at UC Riverside and is part of the Blackness Unbound collective on campus.
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