Will Rawls, Cursor 1: Word Lists, 2018. Courtesy of the artist

JUN 21-AUG 12, 2018

Does the body was the Museum’s first live performance exhibition, presenting the newest generation of American artists who blend the avant-garde legacy of performance art with pop culture.

Each work presented challenges crucial ideas about the body and identity through dance, music, comedy, and spoken word, and invited viewers to connect with the artists and fellow visitors and find ways to “dance better together.” The exhibition also included a larger ongoing presentation of documentaries and recorded works that offered an introduction to five exciting artists: Morgan Bassichis, Moriah Evans, Will Rawls, Jen Rosenblit, and Mariana Valencia.

Curated by Mark Beasley, Robert and Arlene Kogod Secretarial Scholar, Curator of Media and Performance Art, with curatorial assistance from Betsy Johnson, Assistant Curator

Jen Rosenblit, I’m gonna need another one (2018)

June 29-30, 7 PM

A 2018 Guggenheim Fellow, choreographer, and dancer based in Berlin, Rosenblit debuted a new work in which she inhabited five distinct characters, from a wheat farmer to Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, through the use of costumes, props, and vivid theatrics.

“Rosenblit, who marries conceptual ideas to a vivid sense of theater, is a playful contrarian.” – New York Times

Mariana Valencia, Album (2018)

July 12-13, 7 PM

In this new solo work, Valencia presented a powerful herstory of her own life through a choral surround of original songs, dances, and monologues. She is a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Award to Artists grantee (2018) and has performed around the globe.

“Her work is a gateway to an unknown world that is controlled yet wild, one in which every shape, movement, sound, and object is equally understandable and mysterious.” – BOMB Magazine

Morgan Bassichis, Me But Also Everybody (Part IV) (2018)

July 19, 6:30 and 9 PM

Blending stand-up comedy, live music, and raw personal therapy, Bassichis offered an intense new solo work for piano and voice. A composer, singer, comedian, and cabaret artist, Bassichis has performed at Artists Space, MoMA PS1, and the Whitney Museum.

“The first time I saw Morgan perform I remember laughing so hard my cheeks hurt.” – BOMB Magazine

Will Rawls, Cursor (2018)

July 26-27, 3 PM

muses on the computer cursor as a kind of body, describing the graphic as a “protagonist and expectant messenger,” with dance, writing, voice, and objects. A choreographer, writer, and performer, Rawls frequently explores ideas of dance and blackness, ambiguity and abstraction.

“Mr. Rawls sees the hopefulness of dance.” – New York Times

Moriah Evans, Be My Muse (2016)

August 6–10, 11 AM, noon, 2 PM, 3 PM, 4 PM on the hour

As a choreographer, Evans interrogates dance’s complex history and structure with an exciting, expansive sense of the art form. In Be My Muse, Evans occupied the Hirshhorn’s circular gallery for five days with a series of 49-minute performances. In each performance, she exposed her process to a series of interventions and opinions from museum visitors, producing an open choreography regulated by both time and the intimate, momentary exchanges between two people. Be My Muse examines the construction of a solo performance while redefining expressions of power, control, dominance, submission, and the authority of the artist.

“A smart, idea-driven choreographer.” – New York Times