Thursday, October 20, 2005

Angelika Rinnhofer on Jonas' performance at Dia:Beacon

Joan Jonas

The Shape, the Scent, the Feel of Things

A performance based on the writings of Aby Warburg
at Dia:Beacon, Riggio Galleries

Have you ever imagined what you could do with the fantastic space in the basement of Dia:Beacon? A lot of visitors of the museum ask themselves this question when they see the cavernous, hypostyle hall. Joan Jonas’s answer is to turn it into a performance stage with the depth of a football field, the acoustics of a concert hall, with projection screens moving between massive columns, to the sound of live piano music. Jonas’s The Shape, the Scent, the Feel of Things incorporates Dia:Beacon’s environment into a performance piece that introduces the viewer to German art historian Aby Warburg’s writings. Jonas, inspired by the Hopi Snake Dance, which she witnessed some 40 years ago, works with Warburg’s words about his experience with the Native American people. She fuses theater, dance, music, video, photography, costume design, and noise into a Gesamtkunstwerk that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Only two more performances are scheduled, Saturday, Oct. 22, and Sunday, Oct., 23 at 2PM.

Dia:Beacon, Riggio Galleries
3 Beekman Street
Beacon, NY 12508

Angelika Rinnhofer

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