Part of the acclaimed Documents of Contemporary Art series of anthologies which collect writing on major themes and ideas in contemporary art.
This collection surveys the choreographic turn in the artistic imagination from the 1950s onwards, and in doing so outlines the philosophies of movement instrumental to the development of experimental dance. By introducing and discussing the concepts of embodiment and corporeality, choreopolitics, and the notion of dance in an expanded field, Dance establishes the aesthetics and politics of dance as a major impetus in contemporary culture. It offers testimonies and writings by influential visual artists whose work has taken inspiration from dance and choreography.
Dance - because of its ephemerality, corporeality, precariousness, scoring, and performativity - is arguably the art form that most clearly engages the politics of aesthetics in contemporary culture. Dance's ephemerality suggests the possibility of an escape from the regimes of commodification and fetishization in the arts. Its corporeality can embody critiques of representation inscribed in bodies and subjects. Its precariousness underlines the fragility of contemporary states of being. Scoring links it with conceptual art, as language becomes the articulator for possible as well as impossible modes of action. Finally, because dance always establishes a contract, or promise, between its choreographic planning and its actualization in movement, it reveals an essential performativity in its aesthetic project - a central concern for both art and critical thought in our time.
Artists and choreographers surveyed include Marina Abramovic, Pina Bausch, Jérôme Bel, Seydou Boro, Trisha Brown, Rosemary Butcher, John Cage, Boris Charmatz, Ananya Chatterjea, Merce Cunningham, João Fiadeiro, William Forsythe, Simone Forti, Bruno Freire, Anna Halprin, Deborah Hay, Tatsumi Hijikata, Ishmael Houston-Jones, Mette Ingvartsen, Joan Jonas, Akira Kasai, Pichet Klunchun, Ralph Lemon, Xavier Le Roy, Babette Mangolte, Vera Mantero, Mathilde Monnier, Robert Morris, Bruce Nauman, Hélio Oiticica, Lygia Pape, Steve Paxton, Adrian Piper, Yvonne Rainer, Robert Rauschenberg, La Ribot, Lia Rodrigues, Hooman Sharifi and Meg Stuart.
Writers include Giorgio Agamben, Bruce Altshuler, Charles Atlas, Sally Banes, Nicholas Birns, Terry Brennan, Barbara Browning, Jonathan Burrows, Mary Connolly, Bojana Cvejic, Arlene Croce, Gilles Deleuze, Kattrin Deufert, DD Dorvillier, Douglas Dunn, Eiko & Koma, Tim Etchells, Jan Fabre, Matteo Fargion, Peter Eleey, Tim Etchells, Susan Foster, Sondra Fraleigh, Mark Franko, Adrian Heathfield, Graley Herren, Andrew Hewitt, Bill T. Jones, Jeff Kelley, Rosalind E. Krauss, Bojana Kunst, Henri Lefebvre, Boyan Manchev, Jean-Luc Nancy, Tamah Nakamura, Lloyd Newson, Yoko Ono, Halifu Osumare, Jeroen Peeters, Thomas Plischke, Yvonne Rainer, Richard Serra, Gerald Siegmund, Mårten Spångberg, Luc Van den Dries, Myriam Van Imschoot and Pascale Weber.
André Lepecki is Associate Professor at the Department of Performance Studies at New York University. He is the author of Exhausting Dance: Performance and Politics of Movement (2006) and a regular contributor to Performance Research, Drama Review, Artforum, Nouvelles de Danse, and other publications in Europe, Brazil, and the Middle East.