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Jonah Bokaer

Study For Occupant

Thursday, June 25, 2015, 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Jonah Bokaer
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In Study for Occupant, Jonah Bokaer moves around and between the obsolescent cameras, reels of old-fashioned film and dial telephones created by artist Daniel Arsham, which disintegrate a little on meeting a hand, or a piece of fabric, or the floor. Jonah Bokaer will perform among the recently installed solo show of Daniel Arsham at the Contemporary Arts Center, interacting with this new site-specific installation.

There are many artistic elements which, as points of creative departure, have inspired this project, but the main themes include:
spatial reorientation, disruption of the human body in relation to its surrounding built environment, visual performance intervention, displacement of materials, and a re-imagination of rectilinear stage space. The artists also turn to the choreographed language of negative space, and in particular, the body’s abilities to carve negative craters, cavities, apertures, and volumes of supplication. A series of virtuosic double-duets, exploiting all physical possibilities for the dancers to occupy available space within this vocabulary, are used throughout the production.

Study For Occupant was originally created in 2011.

History of Collaboration

Jonah Bokaer and Daniel Arsham have collaborated consistently since 2007, having been introduced at age 26 by the late Merce Cunningham. Bokaer and Arsham immediately began creating an independent language together. The artists have created 5 evening-length works, and many other ephemeral performances, 2 of which can be viewed in accompanying marketing materials, which illustrate themes of spatial reorientation, disruption of the human body in relation to its surrounding built environment, visual performance intervention, displacement of materials, and a re-imagination of rectilinear stage space.

Their body of work has been presented in Valencia, Spain; Athens, Greece; Paris, Marseille, Nîmes, and Avignon, France; Havana, Cuba; and throughout The Netherlands. Their works have also been widely exhibited in the United States, with particularly strong critical acclaim in New York and Miami. Their collaborations often premiere with newly commissioned music, and with highly original scenography, materials, and large-scale stage installations. Their new production is a bi-lateral seating arrangement, in which the public watches the performance from two sides. During the 100 minute choreography, the viewer is invited to examine their own pattern recognition and perceptual faculties as they apply to choreography and design.

Project Information

Jonah Bokaer and Daniel Arsham have worked for 1 year on solo and group movement patterns and group decision-making. The score uses existing music by Riyoji Ikeda, from the “Dataplex” album. The Fabric Workshop and Museum granted a substantial residency and production period for Bokaer and Arsham, which served as a time of conceptual development for the artists – and this museum also produced the costumes. There are many artistic elements which, as points of creative departure, have inspired this project, but the main themes include: • The artists also turn to the choreographed language of negative space, and in particular, the body’s abilities to carve negative craters, cavities, apertures, and volumes of supplication. A series of virtuosic double-duets, exploiting all physical possibilities for the dancers to occupy available space within this vocabulary, are used throughout the production.

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