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Photo by Gerard & Kelly, Bright Hours, 2023. Germain Louvet. Courtesy of the artists and Marian Goodman Gallery. © Adagp Paris, 2023

Gerard & Kelly | Young-jun Tak | Clarissa Tossin

Dancing About Architecture

November 3, 2023 – January 4, 2024
Location

On the High Line at 14th Street

Daily, starting at 5pm

“Writing about music is like dancing about architecture” is a common phrase used to express the futility of translating the experience of music into words. The exhibition Dancing About Architecture shares works by three artists who, in turn, take up the challenge of dancing about architecture—of interacting with and interpreting the built environment through the human body. In theory, architecture is built to house and support the human body; however, architecture often comes up short, instead creating habitable monuments that express the identity of a nation-state, the grandeur of theoretical design ideals, or even the genius of an individual architect. Dancers and choreographers have a special opportunity to expose the true nature of these floors, ceilings, and walls, through expressive movement and narratives about the personalities of those who design the buildings we live in.

Young-jun Tak lives in Berlin, Germany. In his work Wish You A Lovely Sunday (2021), Tak invites two pairs of choreographers and dancers to each realize a new dance for a different building in Berlin—one for the queer club SchwuZ and the other for the church Kirche am Südstern. On the day of their performance for the film, Tak swapped the pairs, transferring the dance designed for the club to the church, and the church-inspired dance to the queer club. The pairs’ navigation of this switch and final performances unfold with beautiful intimacy across the final film.

Brennan Gerard and Ryan Kelly formed their artistic collaborative Gerard & Kelly in 2003 to create performances, videos, and installations together. Their newest film Bright Hours (2023) portrays the rumored affair between iconic performer and artist Josephine Baker and modernist architect Le Corbusier, staged at Cité Radieuse, the Marseille housing complex he designed. Bright Hours asks us to reconsider Baker’s impact on the architect’s practice – their affair typically a footnote in both their stories – offering instead a narrative in which Baker changed how Le Corbusier viewed architecture, color, and form. Bright Hours features performances by Jeanne Balibar, Emara Neymour-Jackson, and Germain Louvet, with an original score by Moses Sumney based on Josephine Baker’s songbook. The work continues Gerard & Kelly’s ongoing series of choreographies staged in icons of modern and historical architecture, Modern Living.

In Ch’u Mayaa (2017), Clarissa Tossin responds to the overlooked influence of Mayan architecture on Frank Lloyd Wright’s Hollyhock House by re-appropriating the building as a temple and imbuing it with a dance performance based on gestures and postures found in ancient Mayan pottery and murals. Through the movement of a female dancer, the house is re-signified as belonging to Pre-Columbian Mesoamerican architecture lineage. The title, translated as “Maya Blue,” refers to the ancient azure pigment found in Mayan pottery and murals, well known for being remarkably weather-resistant and enduring the passage of time.

Dancing About Architecture is organized by Melanie Kress, former Curator of High Line Art.


Credits for Young-jun Tak,Wish You A Lovely Sunday

Director and Producer Young-jun Tak
Dancer Yi-Chi Lee
Choreographer Jee Chan
Dancer Daniel Norgren-Jensen
Choreographer Liam Warren
Line Producer Elsa Triquet-Rey
Director of Photography Jubal Battisti
Second Camera Operator Pippa Samaya
Gaffer Alex DePew
Sound Recordist Robert Klemm

Editor Clémentine Decremps
Sound Mixer Guy Henderson
Colorist Sergej Jurisdizkij
Subtitles and Trailer Editor Théo Perrot
Locations
Kirche am Südstern, Berlin
SchwuZ, Berlin

Music
Lucas & Arthur Jussen—J.S. Bach: “Was mir behagt, ist nur die muntre Jagd” Cantata, BWV 208 (arr. Mary Howe for two pianos): 9. Schafe können sicher weiden (P) 2019 Molto Piano VOF, courtesy of Universal Music GmbH
Lucas & Arthur Jussen—J.S. Bach: “Gottes Zeit ist die allerbeste Zeit,” BWV 106 (Transcr. for Piano Four

Hands by György Kurtàg): 2a. Gottes Zeit, ist die allerbeste Zeit (P) 2019 Molto Piano VOF, courtesy of Universal Music GmbH
Photographs at SchwuZ
Jürgen Baldiga, Self-portrait
Jürgen Baldiga, Melitta Sundström, 1988

Supported by Arts Council Korea, Burger Collection, Berlin Masters Foundation and Center Stage.

Special thanks
Nikola Andjelic, Xeni Ya Ang, Matthias Arndt, Maria Bartau, Monique and Max Burger, Ingar Dragset, Michael Elmgreen, Popo Fan, Margo Lauras, Cristian Merean, Yui Mikami, Agustín Pérez Rubio, Philip Preussen, Hans Joachim Richter-Rose, Alexander Shchurenkov, Ingo Spanka, Shang-Chi Sun, Harumi Terayama, Anthony Vouardoux, Woori Wang

Credits for Gerard & Kelly, Bright Hours

Gerard & Kelly, Bright Hours, 2023
4K video, color, sound, 25 minutes
Courtesy of the artists and Marian Goodman Gallery

With Jeanne Balibar, Emara Neymour-Jackson, Germain Louvet, David Paycha
Written by Gerard & Kelly with Loïc Barrère
Director of photography, Clément de Hollogne
Editor, Grégoire Brice
Costumes, Glenn Mban
Music by Moses Sumney

Production, & Compagnie
Coproduction, Caviar with the participation of HVH FIlms
Powered by Dropbox
With the support of the French Ministry of Culture – Direction générale de la création artistique (DGCA); Carré d’Art – Museum of Contemporary Art, Nîmes; Fondation d’entreprise Hermès in the framework of its New Settings programme; CCN – Ballet National de Marseille; Harbor Picture Company; Justine Schreyer Lewin & Howard Lewin
Associate Producers, Lauri Michelle Firstenberg, Idee German, Taylor Houghton, Jon Hutton, Charles Klein, Geoffrey Kristof, John Schwartz

Credits for Clarissa Tossin, Ch’u Mayaa

Directed by Clarissa Tossin
Choreography/Performer: Crystal Sepúlveda
Cinematography: Jeremy Glaholt
1st camera: Jeremy Glaholt
2nd Camera: Jeffrey Schneider
Editor: Clarissa Tossin
Music: Spirit of the Jaguar by Natascha Wilczek (Mayan clay Jaguar flute made by Mayan Elder Xavier Quijas Yxayotl)
Sound Design: Clarissa Tossin
Sound Mix: Nico Staub
Commissioned and produced by the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs as part of Getty Foundation’s Pacific Standard Time:LA/LA.

Artist bio

Brennan Gerard (b. Piqua, OH, 1978) and Ryan Kelly (b. Drums, PA, 1979), collectively known as Gerard & Kelly, are American artists based in Paris since 2018. Gerard & Kelly have collaborated for two decades on performance, film/video, and installation, among other formats. Their work has recently been the subject of solo exhibitions at Carré d’art – Musée d’art contemporain de Nîmes (2023) and Marian Goodman Gallery, New York (2022). Solo exhibitions and performances of their work have been presented by Centre Pompidou, Paris (2023), MAMCO Genève (2020), MOCA, Los Angeles (2020), Festival d’Automne, Paris (2017 and 2019), The Getty Museum, Los Angeles (2019), Pioneer Works, New York (2018), Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2016), New Museum, New York (2014), and The Kitchen, New York (2014). Recent group exhibitions include Chicago Architecture Biennial (2017), Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (2014), and the Made in L.A. Biennial at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2014), among others. Their works are held in the permanent collections of Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; LACMA – Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; FRAC Franche- Comté, Besançon; Carré d’Art, Nîmes; and the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne.

Young-jun Tak (b. 1989, Seoul, South Korea) is a visual artist and currently lives in Berlin, Germany. His sculptures and films examine the socio-cultural and psychological mechanisms that shape belief systems. Blurring the lines between media, techniques, and subject matter, the artist pursues obfuscation as a tool of critique. His solo exhibitions were presented at Julia Stoschek Foundation (Berlin, Dusseldorf, 2023), palace enterprise (Copenhagen, 2023), Wanås Konst (Knislinge, 2023), O—Overgaden (Copenhagen, 2023), Efremidis (Berlin, 2022), SOX (Berlin, 2022) and Fragment (Moscow, 2021). He took part in group exhibitions at the 5th Chicago Architecture Biennial (2023), Kunstmuseum Heidenheim (2023), the 16th Lyon Biennale (2022), KINDL—Center for Contemporary Art (Berlin, 2022), the 9th Berlin Masters (2021), the 11th Berlin Biennale (2020), Seoul Museum of Art Bunker (2019), the 15th Istanbul Biennale (2017) among many others. He holds B.A.s in English Literature and Linguistics and Cross-Cultural Studies at Sungkyunkwan University in Seoul.

Clarissa Tossin (b. 1973, Porto Alegre, Brazil) is an artist based in Los Angeles, CA. She
uses installation, moving-image, and collaborative research to engage with implicit counter-narratives in the built and natural environments of extractive economies. Recent solo exhibitions have been held at the Frye Art Museum, Seattle (2023); Museum of Contemporary Art Denver (2022); La Kunsthalle Mulhouse, France (2021); Harvard Radcliffe Institute, Cambridge (2019); and Blanton Museum of Art, Austin (2018). Group exhibitions include the 14th Shanghai Biennial (2023); Born in Flames, Bronx Museum of the Arts, NY (2021); Dhaka Art Summit, Bangladesh (2020); Pacha, Llaqta, Wasichay at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2018); 12th Gwangju Biennale, South Korea (2018); Made in L.A. at the Hammer Museum (2014). Her film Mojo’q che b’ixan ri ixkanulab’ / Antes de que los Volcanes Canten / Before the Volcanoes Sing, commissioned by EMPAC–RPI, has recently premiered at MOCA, Los Angeles. Tossin is the recipient of grants from Smithsonian Institute (2023); Graham Foundation (2020); Foundation for Contemporary Arts (2019); Artadia Los Angeles (2018); and Harvard Radcliffe Fellowship (2017-18). Her work is in the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA); Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge; The Art Institute of Chicago; Frye Art Museum, Seattle; Fundação Inhotim, Brazil.


Support

Lead support for High Line Art comes from Amanda and Don Mullen. Major support is provided by Shelley Fox Aarons and Philip E. Aarons, The Brown Foundation, Inc., and Charina Endowment Fund.

High Line Art is supported, in part, with public funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature, and from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the New York City Council, under the leadership of Speaker Adrienne Adams.

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