For Immediate Release

JONAH BOKAER PRESENTS FOUR WORKS DESIGNED FOR MUSEUM AND GALLERY SPACES IN SAVANNAH, BUDAPEST, PARIS AND NEW YORK CITY THIS YEAR

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At least half of Jonah Bokaer’s dances have been designed for museum or gallery spaces, a commitment that continues this year with four of his dances, including three radically different new works. Each is a response to its museum’s singular spatial demands.

Performances include world premieres at SCAD Museum of Art, Savannah, GA as part of the SCAD deFINE ART Series, February 18-21; the Ludwig Museum of Contemporary Art in Budapest, Hungary, May 25; and the Center for Jewish History in New York City, October 7. Bokaer’s “ECLIPSE,” which premiered at BAM in 2012, will be performed this fall in Paris.

The austere style and moral rigor of Albert Camus’s writings on North Africa are the underlying inspiration for the three premieres. Camus’s political commitment to the idea of resistance against human injustice is interpreted and expressed uniquely in each of Bokaer’s premieres.

“The Rebel (and Other Myths)” is a two-part work: the first is performed February 18, 19 and 20 at the SCAD Museum of Art by Lilja Rúriksdóttir and Laura Gutierrez, who, like unobtrusive live sculptures, quietly move Screen Shot 2014-02-12 at 1.36.40 PMfrom gallery to gallery over the course of eight nonstop hours each day. The movement is choreographed to respond to the architecture of the museum, while not deflecting attention from the artwork. Bokaer will perform a 40-minute solo, “The Rebel,” in the SCAD Museum of Art Theater on February 21. In each case the body’s resistance is challenged by the severe length of time it is required to perform. The music is Soundwalk Collective’s “Medea Mix.”

 

For the premiere of “Other Myths” in Hungary, a country not known for its racial, religious or ethnic tolerance, Bokaer has selected five dancers from Eastern European countries, including longtime collaborators Szabi Pataki (Hungary) and Irena Misirlić (Croatia), to challenge governmental prejudice. Each of the performers will provide Bokaer with a chosen Carpathian

myth from their country, which he will interpret and structure choreographically, weaving them into a single work designed for the Ludwig Museum. The music is also by Soundwalk Collective, with field recordings from the Black Sea. There will be no décor, and the lighting will be the natural filtering of sun through the museum windows.

The title of the third museum piece, “October 7, 1944,” refers to the day, 70 years ago, when a group of women were hanged in Auschwitz for detonating a homemade bomb in an effort to destroy the concentration camp’s crematoriums. The women’s resistance is one of the least known but most daring acts of rebellion in Holocaust history. Bokaer’s commemorative work was commissioned by New York City’s Center for Jewish History, where it premieres on October 7.

Bokaer’s “ECLIPSE” will be given its European premiere in Paris’s newest and most architecturally radical museum, designed by Frank Gehry. While the Paris version of “ECLIPSE” will take place beneath Anthony McCall’s stunning light installation, the audience will now be free to move around the four-sided work as the dance proceeds. The sound design is by David Grubbs.

 

Artist Bios

Born to Tunisian and American parents in Ithaca, NY, Jonah Bokaer is an international choreographer, media artist, and art space developer. His work, which integrates choreography with digital media, is often the result of his cross-disciplinary collaborations with artists and architects.

Creating choreography for museum spaces since 2002, Bokaer has performed at The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, P.S.1 MoMA, The New Museum, the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City, as well as in The Asia Society | Texas, Le Carré d’Art à Nîmes, IVAM Valencia, Kunsthalle St. Gallen, and MUDAM Luxembourg, among others. A full list of museum projects is listed below.

The creator of 33 dances, ten videos, three motion capture works, three interactive installations, two mobile applications, and one film, Bokaer’s work has been produced throughout theaters in Belgium, Canada, Cuba, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, India, Italy, Luxembourg, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Recent performances include two seasons at the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival (2011-2012), the 2012 Festival d’Avignon in France, Théâtre de la Cité Internationale in Paris, and the BAM Next Wave Festival 2012, for which he was commissioned for the inauguration of BAM Fisher, with artist Anthony McCall.

In 2008-2009 Bokaer became the first dance artist to be appointed a Young Leader of the French American Foundation, in acknowledgment of his efforts to develop Chez Bushwick, and CPR – Center for Performance Research, two independent arts centers which nurture young artists in New York City and internationally. Bokaer has collaborated with artists including Daniel Arsham (2007-present), Anne Carson, Merce Cunningham, Robert Gober, Anthony McCall, Tino Sehgal, and Robert Wilson (2007-present).

As choreographer for Robert Wilson, he has completed many operas including “Faust” (Polish National Opera), “Aïda” (Teatro dell’Opera di Roma), “KOOL” (Japan/USA Guggenheim Works & Process), “Fronteras” (IVAM Valenica), and “On The Beach” (Baryshnikov Arts Center).

Bokaer was recently named one of ten American artists to receive a Doris Duke Charitable Foundation grant award for the development of his third mobile application, in partnership with Georgia Tech.

Major Museum Performances & Commissions 2002-2014

• Institut Valencià d’Art Modern – IVAM – Valencia, Spain

• Kunsthalle St. Gallen – St. Gallen, Switzerland

• La Ferme du Buisson – Marne-La-Vallée, France

• Le Carré d’Art – Nîmes, France

• MAC Marseille – Marseille, France

• MASS MoCA – North Adams, MA

• MUDAM – Luxembourg

• Museum of Contemporary Art- North Miami, FL

• Palazzo deli Arti – Napoli, Italy

• P.S.1 MoMA – Queens, NY

• The Museum of Arts & Design – New York, NY

• The New Museum – New York, NY

• The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum – New York, NY

• The Whitney Museum of American Art – New York, NY

• SCAD Museum of Art – Savannah, GA

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photo credits to Angela Moore