Sarah Michelson: Talks About Dover Beach, 2009 (1000 Words) - Artforum International

Sarah Michelson: Talks About Dover Beach, 2009 (1000 Words)

By Artforum International

  • Release Date: 2009-05-01
  • Genre: Performing Arts
Our rating: 5/5 stars

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Sarah Michelson: Talks About Dover Beach, 2009 (1000 Words) by Artforum International epub - ebook - audiobook

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WHAT BECOMES A GIMMICK MOST? For that matter, what becomes a gimmick? This is the sort of question that vexes the choreographer Sarah Michelson. Was it a gimmick to serve rotisserie chicken during intermission in Dogs, 2006? To include the white limousine "getaway car" at the end of Shadowmann: Part 1, 2003? What about her persistent use of little girls? Or the cheap, cartoonish horse-head masks in her latest dance, Dover Beach, an early version of which debuted last September at Chapter in Cardiff, Wales, and which will have its stateside premiere this June at the Kitchen? (Speaking to this last example, Michelson offers that at least the horse heads are "gimmicky.") It may or may not have been a gimmick for Michelson to commission for her 2005 piece Daylight (for Minneapolis) at the Walker Art Center fifty painted portraits of her curator, Philip Bither, one of each of her dancers, and one each, too, of Kathy Halbreich and Richard Flood, then director and deputy director of the institution. And it may have been a joke on the ritual mythologization of the performer or a fetishistic homage to it (the difference is not always clear) when Michelson installed these portraits as set pieces throughout the museum and its theater for the dance. That this cocksure act shadowed a concurrent Chuck Close exhibition in the Walker's galleries did not go unnoticed by Michelson, who ate up the irony of such a juxtaposition. "A gimmick is anything that's in there that I enjoy a little too much," she admits.

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