Museum  November 7, 2018  Megan D Robinson

"Groundings" Explores Identity Through Movement

Photo: Anna Martine Whitehead

Anna Martine Whitehead, Hold-Yourself-In-Mid-Air, 2010

© 2010 Rashid Johnson Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago.

Rashid Johnson, Multiple Consciousness, 2010. Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, gift of Carlo Bronzini Vender.

Blending dance, music and performance art with existing works from the collection, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago is exploring various forms of motion in Groundings, their latest exhibition. Different performers will be in residence throughout the exhibition, reacting to the environment and building on each others’ work. They will hold open rehearsals during their residencies, culminating in evening performances. Through their creations, the performers examine how movement is essential to the artistic process, as well as investigating identity: sexual identity, gender identity, immigrant identity, and minority identity.
 

© 1993 John Cage Trust Photo © MCA Chicago

John Cage, A Dip in the Lake: Ten Quicksteps, Sixty-two Waltzes, and Fifty-six Marches for Chicago and Vicinity, 1978. Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago.

Organized by Grace Deveney, Assistant Curator, and Tara Aisha Willis, Associate Curator of Performance, this innovative exhibition includes work by John Cage,  Annette Kelm and Rashid Johnson. In reacting to the art and the museum itself, the artists explore how architecture influences space, surveillance, sound, and light; how theater, music, and ritual can be used to explore identity; how integrating black vernacular gestures, codes, and rituals into modern dance can create space for black queer identity; how movement can honor the dead and comment on immigrant detention and deportation; how we use dance to create sounds; and how music and storytelling can observe the symbiotic relationship between art and history. Resident artists include Chicago performance artist Anna Martine Whitehead, New York dance artist Mariana Valencia, Chicago body-based artist and healer Rosé Hernandez, seasoned movement artist Jennifer Harge, Chicago performance artist and educator Patricia Nguyen and Grammy-nominated singer and trained theatre actor Brandon Markell Holmes.

Photo: Michael Thomas

Jennifer Harge, cussin and prayin, 2017

Groundings is on view at the MCA Chicago through May 12, 2019. Artist residencies will take place in the spring of 2019. More information, including a rehearsal and performance schedule, is available online.

About the Author

Megan D Robinson

Megan D Robinson writes for Art & Object and the Iowa Source.