The Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts presents Liveness Is Critical, an innovative residency program dedicated to critical discourse exploring interdisciplinary performance in contemporary art, including work that traverses the theater, dance, and performance fields. Artistic Director for Residency Programs Ellina Kevorkian curated an intensive ten-day residency program, April 27–May 6, 2016 , that focused on advancing peer-to-peer dialogue and scholarship among nationally recognized performance artists, curators, scholars, and writers by increasing exposure to various modes of thinking.
PARTICIPATING RESIDENTS : Travis Chamberlain, independent theater director and associate curator of performance, New Museum, NYC, NY; Denise Chapman, theater artist and associate director, Performing Arts Collective, the Union for Contemporary Art, Omaha, NE; Shoshona Currier, performance curator, Chicago, IL; Emily Johnson, choreographer and artistic director, Emily Johnson/Catalyst, Minneapolis, MN, and NYC, NY; Abigail Levine, choreographer and visiting faculty in dance, Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT; Daniel Sack, writer, editor, and assistant professor, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, MA; Juliana Snapper, performance artist, opera singer, and PhD candidate in musicology, University of California, San Diego, Los Angeles, CA.
The Liveness Is Critical platform nurtured the local and national performance ecosystem by supporting artists, curators, scholars, and writers who use the body, temporality, action, and the element of liveness in their work. This curated residency sought to highlight the critical and theoretical underpinnings that surround performance production, presentation, and scholarship. Using the Bemis Center model of providing time and space to support process and inquiry, Kevorkian stated, “I wanted to put the spotlight on the action of idea-generation for live art.”
Photographs: Colin Conces