FEELINGS ARE FACTS: THE LIFE OF YVONNE RAINER Wednesday, October 19 6PM
Philadelphia premiere of new documentary film by JACK WALSH
post screening discussion with Jack Walsh and Yvonne Rainer
WHAT’S SO FUNNY? LAUGHTER AND ANGER IN THE TIME
OF THE ASSASSINS
Wednesday, October 19 8PM
“an amalgam of jokes and rants around the current emotional and political dilemmas of the artist and concerned citizen” by YVONNE RAINER
Yvonne Rainer, one of the founders of the Judson Dance Theater (1962), made a transition to filmmaking following a fifteen-year career as a choreographer/dancer (1960-1975). After making seven experimental feature-length films — “Lives of Performers” (1972), “Privilege” (1990), and “MURDER and murder” (1996), among others — she returned to dance in 2000 via a commission from the Baryshnikov Dance Foundation (“After Many a Summer Dies the Swan”). Since then she has made six dances, including “AG Indexical, with a little help from H.M.,” “Assisted Living: Do you have any money?” and “The Concept of Dust: Continuous Project – Altered Annually.” Her dances have been seen throughout the U.S., including the Whitney Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, the Kitchen, Dia Beacon; in Europe at the Louvre and Montpelier, also Documenta 12, Helsinki, Italy, Dublin; and Sao Paulo. Museum retrospectives of her work, including drawings, photos, films, notebooks, and memorabilia, have been presented at Kunsthaus Bregenz and Museum Ludwig, Cologne (2012); the Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles; Jeu de Paume, École des Beaux Artes, La Ferme du Buisson, Paris, and Raven Row, London (2014). A memoir — “Feelings Are Facts: a Life” — was published by MIT Press in 2006. A selection of her poetry was published in 2011 by Paul Chan’s Badlands Unlimited. Other writings have been collected in “Work: 1961-73” (1974); “The Films of Y.R.” (1989); and “A Woman Who…: Essays, Interviews, Scripts (1999).
FEELINGS ARE FACTS: THE LIFE OF YVONNE RAINER
“The function of art is to shake us out of our complacency and comfort,” says Yvonne Rainer, whose avant‐garde performances and films have agitated audiences for 50 years. Since co‐founding New York’s influential Judson Dance Theater, Rainer’s boundary‐crossing art has been labeled in many ways: feminist, conceptual, post‐ modern, political. Feelings Are Facts examines the contradictions and creativity of this remarkable provocateur—still performing at age 80—and raises the question, What does is mean to be an avant‐garde artist today?
Yvonne Rainer exploded onto the performance scene in the early 1960’s, a protégé of John Cage and Merce Cunningham, boldly pursuing a minimalist aesthetic, using everyday, often random movements that confounded critics. At Judson, she collaborated with the rule‐breaking artists of her generation: Robert Rauschenberg, Trisha Brown, Steve Paxton, Lucinda Childs, and Meredith Monk. With foundational works like “Trio A,” Rainer radically altered the vocabulary of modern dance forever.
In the 1970s, Rainer turned from performance to filmmaking, bringing both humorous storytelling and dense theory to seven independent features. As she investigated subjects like political power, terrorism, lesbian sexuality, and breast cancer, the labels again poured forth. Were her films “difficult” or “accessible”? Funny or frustrating? After 25 years of filmmaking and encouraged by dancers including Mikhail Baryshnikov, Rainer, in her 60s, returned to choreography once again to make courageous, unpredictable dances. Feelings Are Facts presents Rainer from her revolutionary roots to her tireless current explorations, breaking rules and challenging audiences no matter what decade she finds herself in.