Yvonne Rainer

The Concept of Dust, or How do you look when there's nothing left to move?

Yvonne Rainer The Concept of Dust, or How do you look when there's nothing left to move? | Events Calendar
Yvonne Rainer. Assisted Living: Do you have any money? 2013. Performers, from left: Patricia Hoffbauer, Emmanuèlle Phuon, Yvonne Rainer, Pat Catterson, Keith Sabado, and Emily Coates. Photo by Ian Douglas


MoMA | 11 West 53rd Street

Curated by Ana Janevski with Giampaolo Bianconi

The Museum of Modern Art presents the East Coast premiere of Yvonne Rainer's The Concept of Dust, or How do you look when there's nothing left to move?. This ongoing work-in-progress interweaves formal dance with personal themes of aging and mortality, humor, and diverse texts—intermittently read by Rainer and the dancers—dealing with ancient Mideast dynasties, paleontological findings, and literary quotations. Language—here running parallel to the music (Gavin Bryars's "The Sinking of the Titanic”) and dance movements, at times interrupting the latter—continues to be an important coordinate in Rainer's work. All three elements—language, music, and movement—combine to create a somewhat melancholy ambiance. The performers in The Concept of Dust have been given the freedom to initiate and/or abort the movement phrases as they wish, making spontaneous decisions throughout the 45-minute duration of the piece. Originally commissioned by the J. Paul Getty Museum, Getty Research Institute, and Performa, the MoMA performance will incorporate a yet-to-be-revealed work from the Museum’s collection that has fascinated Rainer since her arrival in New York in 1956.

A founding member of New York’s pioneering Judson Dance Theater, Rainer is widely regarded as a foundational figure of American art and avant-garde dance since the 1960s. Her boundary-breaking choreography, such as Trio A from The Mind Is a Muscle (1966–68), has been performed in numerous forms and settings by both dancers and non-dancers. By the late 1960s, Rainer developed a form known as “performance demonstrations” or “composites,” which combine fragments of choreography with spoken monologues, projections, films, and sounds. In the 1970s, she turned her attention fully to filmmaking, directing Lives of Performers (1972), Journeys from Berlin/1971 (1980), and Privilege (1990). In 2000, Rainer returned to dance and choreography.

The June 13 performance is followed by a conversation between Rainer; writer Lynne Tilman; Douglas Crimp, University of Rochester; and Ana Janevski, Associate Curator, Department of Media and Performance Art, MoMA.

Seating is limited. Tickets will be available for purchase beginning June 2. Guests are encouraged to arrive by 7:45 p.m. as late arrivals will not be seated.

Organized by Ana Janevski, Associate Curator, with Giampaolo Bianconi, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Media and Performance Art.

The performance is made possible by MoMA’s Wallis Annenberg Fund for Innovation in Contemporary Art through the Annenberg Foundation.

Yvonne Rainer: The Concept of Dust, or How do you look when there's nothing left to move? is co-commissioned by Performa, New York, and The Getty, Los Angeles. Organized by The Museum of Modern Art.

Additional Performances:

Wed Jun 10, 2015 8:00 PM

Sat Jun 13, 2015 8:00 PM

Sun Jun 14, 2015 8:00 PM