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May 30, 2007

Jonathan Monk


Five Ballerinas in Manhattan

Five Ballerinas in Manhattan :: May 30, 9-10pm: TIMES SQUARE beginning near 42nd Street and 7th Avenue :: May 31, 1-4pm: SOHO beginning at 420 West Broadway :: June 1, 2-3pm: CENTRAL PARK beginning near Rockefeller Center :: June 2, 12-2pm: WALL STREET beginning near Greenwich and Fulton Street. Download brochure.

Jonathan Monk will restage Daniel Buren’s key performance work, Seven Ballets in Manhattan, on its 32nd anniversary. Re-titling the work, Five Ballerinas in Manhattan, five performers, dressed in dance rehearsal clothes, will attempt to perform Buren’s choreography at the identical locations on the same days and times of the original performances. In 1975, the dancers carried placards featuring the striped work of Buren; for this rendition, Monk will have the dancers distribute an adaptation of Buren’s brochure featuring illustrations of the choreography for each site.

This enigmatic work in its original presentation prompted questions regarding the status of art in the public realm and how such confrontations are defined in its initial presentation. For example, audiences in SoHo, then the center of the commercial gallery scene in New York, accepted the work as art, but audiences on Wall Street interpreted the parade of placards as a potential unidentifiable threat. By re-phrasing and re-presenting works from the Modernist Canon of the 1960s and 1970s, Monk aims to test their continued strength and validity, in part through demystifying the process. Part homage, part parody, the work suggests alternative outcomes, differing audience responses and new-routes for the cultural producer and artist of today.

This is conceptual artist Jonathan Monk’s first non-gallery based work in New York. Born in Britain in 1969, and now based in Berlin, Monk works in a wide range of media including installations, photography, film, sculpture and performance. His tongue-in-cheek methods often recall procedural approaches typical of 1960’s Conceptualism, but without sharing their utopian ideals and notions of artistic genius. Monk, like Daniel Buren, is a key practitioner in the “art into life” debate.

Posted by jo at May 30, 2007 02:52 PM