Opening Saturday, February 2, The Fabric Workshop and Museum (FWM) presents British-born, Berlin-based artist, Tacita Dean’s 16mm film installation: Merce Cunningham performs STILLNESS (in three movements) to John Cage’s composition 4’33” with Trevor Carlson, New York City, 28 April 2007 (six performances; six films), 2008. Merce Cunningham (1919-2009), one of the most legendary choreographers of our time, was filmed by Dean in Cunningham’s dance studio on Bethune Street, New York City on April 28, 2007 where he performed to his life partner’s John Cage’s 1952 composition, 4’33”. As the title so aptly describes, this unrehearsed solo performance of Cunningham, sitting in a chair, was performed and filmed six times; occasionally another performer Trevor Carlson appears in the footage, standing with a stopwatch. Tacita Dean’s six projected films of these performances and their unique ambient soundtracks run simultaneously within the Museum’s space.
It was a static dance, exhilarating and beautiful, which caused me to catch my breath, . . . . Each performance appeared to hold a myriad of differences, even in its repetition.
– Tacita Dean describing Merce Cunningham performs STILLNESS…(six performances, six films), 2008