The pieces on display will consist of video documentation of re-performances of the early solo work of choreographer Ted Shawn in the exhibition “20 Dancers for the XXth Century” curated by Boris Charmatz. This includes pieces such as Four Solos Based on American Folk Music (1931) and Pierrot in the Dead City(1935). Shawn made a gift of his works to MoMA in the 1940’s, but the museum later gave away these materials to the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. Weinert contends that if he had been considered an “Artist” they would not have been able to do so. MoMA’s own policies are such that they do not sell or give away works by living artists and Shawn was living at the time of his deaccession.
“Unlike many of the other artists represented in the exhibit, Ted Shawn has no company in existence today, so the process of revival was very different. I spent my research fellowship at Jacob’s Pillow dancing in the studios they built, reconstructing the movement from books, photographs, video and rumor. It felt at times as if I were dancing with ghosts. I wanted to recreate that experience for the viewer. ” – Adam H Weinert
By installing the re-performances of Ted Shawn’s choreography inside the museum walls, Weinert strives to perform an act of “Reaccession”. This perlocutionary flip, made possible by the use of AR and video documentation, trespasses on the museum and exposes aspects of its relation to its audience, to dance and to dance history usually unseen. The Reaccession of Ted Shawn challenges notions of the archive and re-performance as understood by recent scholarship in performance studies and art history by way of digital, performative intervention and offers a new vector for displaying performance in museum spaces – one which honors the vision of the authors and transforms the museum into more than a cenotaphic display.
Be an accomplice and come explore a part of MoMA’s unseen past.
Detailed instructions for how to download the app and participate in the installation will be available on May 16th at www.thereaccessionoftedshawn.com/directions
(Source: Adam H Weinert Website all photos © Adam H Weinert)