Off the Wall: Part 2—Seven Works by Trisha Brown

Sept 30–Oct 3, 2010

Off the Wall: Part 2: Seven Works by Trisha Brown, features the Trisha Brown Dance Company, on the occasion of the company’s fortieth anniversary, performing iconic works from the 1970s, including the spectacular Walking on the Wall, originally performed at the Whitney in 1971; performance films and a sound installation, Skymap, will also be on view. Works will be performed daily from September 30 through October 3, 2010, in the Second Floor Galleries, Sculpture Court, and outside the Whitney Museum of American Art on East 75th Street. Planned performances include Man Walking Down the Side of a Building, Falling Duet I, Leaning Duets I and II, Spanish Dance, Floor of the Forest, and the sound installation Skymap.

Off the Wall: Thirty Performative Actions, focuses on actions using the body in live performance, in front of the camera, or in relation to a photographic or printed surface, or drawing. Each action displaces the site of the artwork from an object to the body, acting in relation to, or directly onto, the physical space of the gallery. The wall and floor become the stage for these actions: walking on the wall, slamming doors, slapping hands against the wall, gathering sawdust up from the studio floor, walking on a painting, striding and crawling around a small cylindrical space, writing or drawing on the wall and floor, or performing a striptease behind the transparent plane of Duchamp’s Large Glass. The exhibition also includes a number of works that reveal the underlying theatricality of the performative action and the ways in which artists stage the self in images that question conventions of identity, gender, and the body.

The exhibition includes the re-performance of iconic early works by John Baldessari and Yoko Ono, as well as recent works by young artists. It includes work by Vito Acconci, Carl Andre, John Baldessari, Jonathan Borofsky, John Coplans, Jimmy DeSana, Trisha Donnelly, Simone Forti, Dara Friedman, David Hammons, Lyle Ashton Harris, Jenny Holzer, Peter Hujar, Joan Jonas, Robert Longo, Nate Lowman, Robert Mapplethorpe, Paul MCarthy, Robert Morris, Bruce Nauman, Yoko Ono, Dennis Oppenheim, Yvonne Rainer, Martha Rosler, David Salle, Lucas Samaras, Carolee Schneemann, Richard Serra, Cindy Sherman, Laurie Simmons, Andy Warhol, Carrie Mae Weems, Hannah Wilke, Jordan Wolfson, and Francesca Woodman.

Part 1 is curated by Chrissie Iles, the Whitney’s Anne & Joel Ehrenkranz Curator. Part 2 is curated by Limor Tomer, the Whitney’s adjunct curator of performing arts.


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In the News

Review: “At Edge of Whitney, Touching the Void”
The New York Times

Review: Each dance was formally stunning, with exceedingly controlled movements and lovely manipulations of gesture”

Video: “At 5 p.m. on Wednesday, a camera-phone-wielding crowd gathered at the corner of Madison Avenue and 75th Street as a man on the roof of the Whitney Museum prepared to go off it.”
T Magazine/The New York Times

Laurie Anderson, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Stephen Petronio, Elizabeth Streb, and Terry Winters, share their thoughts on Trisha Brown
The New York Times

Walking on the Walls of the Whitney Museum”

“The Bricklayer’s Apprentice: A Q&A With Trisha Brown Protégé Lee Serle”


Skymap was first heard at the Whitney in 1971 during Trisha Brown's performance "Another Fearless Dance Concert", which also featured the premiere of "Walking on the Walls," the centerpiece of Off the Wall: Part 2—Seven Works by Trisha Brown, alongside several other works. Trisha Brown on her sound installation, Skymap: "I had performed on the walls, the floor, and at eye level. I knew that the ceiling was next, but I just couldn't bring myself to enter into that kind of physical training with that kind of danger below. I sent words up there instead."

In the program for the evening Trisha provided the following instructions for her audience: Recommended position for audience is lying on the floor on back.

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Listen to Skymap

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