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he world as a stag

FEBRUARY 1 – APRIL 27, 2008


AT THIS PERFORMANCE THE ROLE OF ACTIVE VISITOR WILL BE PLAYED BY YOU Cover: Ulla von Brandenburg, Curtain (detail), 2007. Courtesy of the artist, Art: Concept, Paris and Produzentengalerie, Hamburg. Photo: John Kennard.


Photo: John Kennard.

Drawings © Paul Ryan

he world as a stag

Pawel Althamer, Cezary Bodzianowski, Ulla von Brandenburg, Jeremy Deller, Trisha Donnelly, Geoffrey Farmer, Andrea Fraser, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Jeppe Hein, Renata Lucas, Rita McBride, Roman Ondák, Marcus Schinwald, Tino Sehgal, Catherine Sullivan, Mario Ybarra Jr., and You.

FEBRUARY 1 – APRIL 27, 2008

THE CAST


THE SCENE The World as a Stage assembles a cast of works by 16 international artists blurring the lines between theater, performance, visual art, and everyday life. Organized by Tate Modern and inspired by the rich theater history of London, The World as a Stage unfolds against the dramatic backdrop of the ICA’s architecture, itself a carefully considered choreography of spectacular views and dynamic space.

Photo: Peter Vanderwarker

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THE


ACT 1

AT T THE ICA’S A ADMISSIONS DMIS S SI S ONS DESK, “THIS IS YOUR C CU CUE.” U E.. ”

Visi V s ting a museum m exhibi exx b tion n som o etim imes im ess ffee e ls l like taking part in a scripted perform rmance, where yo y u, the visitor, are c nfined co d to a more traditionally passive role with h limited a tition ac onss or o lin in nes e . Bu Butt wh haatt wou uld d hap appe pen pe n if i you o were fo f rced d to reinvent yourself as one of the lea ading characters of the s ow sh o ? Wo W uld you be willing to play?

As you o purchase your ticket at the e adm dmissiion o s desk, a museum staff member announces: “Key Intelligence Officer Target of Lebanon Bomb” or “Crime on the T Hits a 10 0-year Lo L w… w Th T is i is Ne N w, Tino Sehg h al, 20 2 03.” Sehgal’s artworks consist of no actual objects; they are ephemeral actions which directly address the visitor and often require r her to react. In This is New, w ICA Staff pull the headline of thei e r choice from that day’s news. Relying g on “interpret e ers” to enact these s staged situations, Sehgal’s works blur the distinctions betwe w en artist, work, and d viewer. This is your cue that the performance has started. [Exeunt]


In foreground: Renata Lucas, Falha, 2003. Left: Jeppe Hein, Rotating Labyrinth, 2007. Right: Rita McBride, Arena, 1997. Photo: John Kennard.


ACT 2

IN THE E WEST T GALLERY ON THE 4TH FLOOR FLOOR, R , “N “NOW N OW IS YOUR TIME E TO SHINE.”

The mu use eum u , like man a y ot o he h r publlic spaces, has its own social dynamics. There are unspoken rules for what to do or what nott to do in the gallery. In trad ditional mu use s um settiing ngs, s the e worrk is p pre rese re sent se ntted d to us, as a if on sta t ge, and d we passively observe for a fe ew seco onds until moving on to the next one. In The World as a Stage, the artist is no longer at the center—the audience becomes as essential to the work as the person who create ed it. Each worrk in the exhibition acts as a catalyst, posing a que u stion, stating an n opinion, or highligh hting an everyday moment. You, the visitor, become the missing piece. Until you rea e ct c , respond to, or relate to it, the art sits quiettly ly, inactive, as if waiting to say, “I’ve been expecting you.” Whilie moving g aro ro oun u d th he galler e y, you u suddenl n y find yourself in the middle of a sta t ge area created by Rita McBride’s Arena (1997). Face the audience; now is your time to s ine. You can also sh o choose to sit down and play the role

of spectator. In Ro R tating gL Lab a yr y inth th (2007), Jep e pe p Hein n highlights the interplay between the work, its t vie i wers, and the space, emphasizing the interdependence of these th hre r e elements. Constructed as a rotating mirrored theater in the round, this piece literally shakes your percept p ion of the gallery’s spatial conventions. With Séance de Shadow II (bleu) (1998), Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster casts the visitor as the main actor. By enttering the spac a e, you trigger a ci c nematic theater of light and shadows, and enact a realtime performance. [Exeunt] Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Séance de Shadow II (bleu), 1998. Courtesy Esther Schipper, Berlin.


Left: Ulla von Brandenburg, Curtain, 2007. Photo: John Kennard. Right: Catherine Sullivan, The Chittendens: The Resuscitation of Uplifting, 2005, video still. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Catherine Bastide, Brussels.


ACT 3

STANDING ST TAN A DING BY ULLA VON BRANDENBURG’S CURTAIN, “E “EXPOSING E XP P OSING THE FOUR FOURTH R TH WALL.”

The Th e th t ea eate t r cu c rtain can be e perce eived as a p ph h sical hys a bounda y between fiction and reality, ar y perfo ormer ers an er a d spectators to rs. Wh hen e a curtain parts and the action begins, you can e th ei ther e tak er ake th he stage or take it alll in. Wh Whicch side of Ulla von B ande Br an nd nb n urg’s Curtain do you imagine yo y urself on? The c rt cu r ain defines the space commonly kno n wn as the “fourth wa alll,”” the imaginary, invisible wall at the front of the stage e in a pr p os osce enium theater, through which th he audien ence sees the en acctiton of the play. The fourth wall is one of the best establilish shed sh e con nve entions of fiction, allowing the audience to enjoy th he ssh how o as iff they were eavesdropping on real events. What are the consequences of exp Wh xposing xp g the fourth wall? Today’s world—with its reality TV--sa To s turate t d cultur u e and p rvvas pe a iv i e surveillance devices—is addiing complexity to the rela re la atit on onsh s ip between en n realityy and d represe s ntatio on, n leaving us uncl un clea cl ar as a to o where we stand nd. In thi nd h s bi b g pe erf rfor o mance th that a is eve v ryda d y lilfe, today is just the latest episode of our own real re alitity sh al s ow.

More thaan just a peek behind the scene es, s Ca C th her e ine Sullivan’s The Chittendens: The Resuscitation of Uplifting (2005) unapologetically exposes the ‘acting’ g that is present in every kind of performance. In her attempt to reveal acting, she creates an accumulation of unrelated gestures, bodily actions, and vocalizations; these isolated elements make no sense without a coherent narrative. Pawel Althamer’s Self-Portrait as a Businessman (20 002-2004), features a typ y ical a businessman’s suit, wallet and briefcasse leftt on the floo o r, as if their owner had just undresssed and walked away. These familiar objects have become the costume and props of the h ultimate performance: life. This piece reminds us of William Shakespeare’s words: “All the world’s a sttage; and all the men and women merely players; they havve their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays y manyy parts.” (As You Likke Itt, Ac A t 2, 2 Sce cene 7) [Exeunt]


Mario Ybarra, Jr. Sweeney Tate, 2007. “Chop Shop” Performance at Tate Modern. Courtesy of the artist.


ACT 4

AT A FIELD IN YORK YORKSHIRE R SHIR IRE IR E AND AN L.A. BARBERSHOP BARBERSHOP, P, “LIF “LIFE I E TAKES CENTER R STAGE STAGE.” E .”

T e Wo Th World as a a Stage e spo potlig ghts th t e rene newe wed we d ap appe p al of the n tion of ‘theater’ for many artists working today. Invokno in ng th the la anguage of theater gives these artists a cert r ain rt perm pe rmis rm mis issi sion on n to pl play ay, offfe ay eri ring ng g the hem m th the e po poss sssib ssib ibilililititityy off exp pandd i g their practice and crossing the boun in ndaries of traditional a titstic ar stt c dis i ciplines. Theater becomes a lens through which to obs b errve our world. This is where life takes center stage. JJere Je ere remy em Deller (artist, curator, producer, social organizer, an nd event creator) uses role-playing for his epic re-ena n ctm nt me n of The Battle of Orgreave (2001). Loo oking back at rece re cent ce ntt his i tory—tthe 198 9 4 miners’ strike against the h eliminattiion of 20 2 ,000 jobs at the Orgreavve coki k ng pla ant near Sheffie elld, d UK—Deller asked former mi m ne n rs and policcemen who e pe ex perienced the event first-hand to take partt in its re-stagin ng. g In some cases, their roles we w re r rev e er e sed, add d ing even n mo m ore r emotional complexityy to t the h pie ece c . Fo F r th t e majori rityy off ri p rt pa r iccip pantss, th his was a chance to relive history, to confront real re a itty, and to achi hievve un u derstanding.

Mario Yb Y arra, Jr. explores the places an a d sp pacces e that reve eal a the e inner workings of human relationships and highlight th he theatricality of everyday life. Sweeney Tate (2007), a fullscalle reprod ductitition o off a former barb bersh hop in i L.A A .’’s Ch Chin i atown, suggests the cultural significance of such a space to its particular community, and the social dynamics created by language, background, and economics. A barbershop is a public stage for lively discussion or confiden ntiality, politiccal action or personal reflection; it’s up to you. [Exeunt]

Jeremy Deller, The Battle of Orgreave, film still, 2004. Film, Commissioned and produced by Artangel, Tate.


ACT 5

BY T THE HE FOUNDERS’ GALLERY ON T TH THE H E NORTH SIDE, “THE E SHOW MUST GO ON.”

Some S m on ne on o ce sai aid d th hatt “good artt is not what itt looks like, butt what it does to us.” Beyo y nd the exp ploration o of idea eas re ea elate ted te d to theat he eat ater e and er performance, the artists featured in The World as a Stage remind uss that art operates within many areas of human inquiry, y helping in the eternal search for an unders r tanding of our place in the world.

In a som o etimes e inc ncompr nc p ehensible e un nivverrse any appro oac a h is adequate, even the most irrational one. In Luna (2005), Cezary Bodzianowski appears riding the insid de of a rotating g d um. Wearin dr i g a pair off rollerbl b ad des—one on hi h s fo f ot, the other on his hand—he awkwardly slides, falls, and tumb bles while attempting to remain upright. Bodzianowski’s artistic practice is strongly influenced by the h theater of the absurd, where characters often e appear ca aught in hopeless situations, forced to do repetitive or meaningless actions. Here, the unstoppable e rotating g force of the drum um has no mercy, and the artist can’t keep up u ; he doesn’t give up though, because the show must go on. [Exeunt]


Cezary Bodzianowski, Luna, 2005, video still. Foksal Gallery Foundation, Warsaw.


CREDITS

HOW MANY HAVE YOU SEEN?

Text adapted by Emma Fernandez, ICA Education & Interpretation Specialist

TALKS AND TOURS

REFLECTING SPECTACLE: LIFE AND ART

ART MEETS PERFORMANCE

Tuesday, March 4, 6:30 PM Breaking down barriers between art and life was an underlying motif throughout most of the 20th century, and today, with reality TV and the internet, this edge is more blurred than ever. As part of The World as a Stage which focuses on the ‘theatricality of everyday life’ and the ways in which live performance and installation draw the viewer into the equation, renowned art historian RoseLee Goldberg, curator and director of the recently launched PERFORMA, the visual art performance biennial in New York City, will provide context and background, and also a glimpse into PERFORMA 07. Joining Goldberg are Mark Tribe, artist and curator; Ann Carlson, choreographer, performer and conceptual artist; and Tim Jackson, director of Radical Jesters, a documentary about pranksters, performers, and provocateurs. The panel will respond to Goldberg's ideas and explore the themes that motivate them to produce their own work.

Design by José Nieto, ICA Senior Designer This gallery guide is made possible by significant support from the Carl and Ruth Shapiro Family Foundation. Additional support is provided by the Nathaniel Saltonstall Arts Fund. The World as a Stage has been organized by Tate Modern’s Jessica Morgan, Curator of Contemporary Art, and Catherine Wood, Curator of Contemporary Art and Performance. ICA’s Coordinating Curator is Carole Anne Meehan.

Thursday, January 31, 6:30 PM Carole Anne Meehan, coordinating curator for The World as a Stage discusses the show's ideas with exhibiting artist Mario Ybarra, Jr. and Arthur Nauzyciel, artistic director of the Centre Dramatique National, Orléans, France, and director of the American Repertory Theatre production of Julius Caesar.r Tickets: $5 general admission; free tickets for members, students and seniors WHAT NEW IS: DAVID ROCKWELL AND CHEE PEARLMAN

Wednesday, March 26, 6:30 PM Founder and CEO of Rockwell Group and co-author of Spectacle (2006) with Bruce Mau, architect David Rockwell talks with editor and curator Chee Pearlman about the phenomenon of public performance. What role can performance have in the development of cities and urban living today? Tickets: $25 general admission; $20 members, students and seniors.

Tickets: $12 general admission; $8 members, students and seniors


FREE PUBLIC TOURS The ICA offers public tours of The World as a Stage on Target Free Thursday Nights at 6 pm and each Saturday and Sunday at 1 pm. Tours are free with museum admission and leave from the lobby.

PUBLIC PERFORMANCES IN THE GALLERIES "The Working is the Work" by The Institute for Infinitely Small Things Thursday, Feb 28, 6:30–8:30 PM Thursday, Mar 27, 6:30–8:30 PM Thursday, Apr 24, 6:30–8:30 PM For this performance, Institute members assume the role of ICA laborers in various ways. Using performance and conversation, the Institute conducts creative, participatory research that aims to temporarily transform public spaces while investigating social and political “tiny things.” Free with museum admission.

“LIFE/THEATER PROJECT: ICA”

Sunday, March 16, 2 PM Experiential artist Lee Walton orchestrates a series of intimate “happenings” to take place in the museum’s galleries and public spaces. Collaborating with teens from the ICA Teen Arts Council, scripts are poetically mapped on individual postcards with image and text indicating the time, action and identity of each performance. Free with museum admission. BLIND DATES

Site-specific performances that engage the dynamic between spectator and spectacle within the context of Rita McBride's Arena. Free with museum admission. “Minimally Tough” by Ellen Band Sundays, March 2 and 9, 1 PM Leather jackets purvey minimalist composition throughout the museum. Keep your eyes peeled and ears open!

“We All Need a Pygmalion” by Pablo Helguera Saturday, March 22, 2 PM A musical social etiquette lecture for the art world, introducing The Pablo Helguera Manual of Contemporary Art Style. Pablo Helguera is an artist who uses satire to explore the complicated social structure of the contemporary art scene. His performance, “We All Need a Pygmalion,” takes the form of a “self-improvement” workshop with a musical component—Helguera sings songs about the art world to melodies from “My Fair Lady.” The performance is an introduction to his book, The Pablo Helguera Manual of Contemporary Art Style. Written in the style of an old-school etiquette handbook, Helguera’s wry advice is practical for any artist. New York Magazine exclaims: "Finally, Broadway meets Bourriaud!" “Surrogate Performing” by Lewis Gesner Sunday, March 30, 2 PM In “Surrogate Performing,” Lewis Gesner performs as another. This does not mean he merely acts, but that he is as the other, becoming her or him. At the ICA, Gesner performs as German artist Boris Nieslony, founder of Black Market International, and Bulgarian artist Vassya Vassileva.


ICA INFORMATION FAMILIES

GOOD THEATER CHEAP

Saturday, April 26, 10 AM to 4 PM

PLAY DATES

Join us on the last Saturday of every month, when the ICA comes alive with activities especially for families—films, performances, art-making, gallery tours, and more! All activities are designed for children and adults to do together, and no prior registration is necessary. Due to space restrictions, tickets may be required for selected events. Tickets will be available first-come, first-served in the lobby on the day of the event only. For more information, e-mail families@icaboston.org or call Kathleen Lomatoski at 617-478-3134. THERE/NOT THERE

Saturday, February 23, 10 AM to 4 PM Dance Performance by Boston Arts Academy students at 12 and 1 PM The exhibition The World as a Stage and the choreography of Robert Battle set the stage for a day exploring the boundaries between body and mind. Families will learn more about the physical nature of art through activities focused on gesture and movement, presence and absence.

Performance by Rough and Tumble Theater at 12 PM Guerrilla performances throughout the day. Be the star and the audience! Make your own theater props and join the Rough and Tumble theater group on stage and throughout the building.

MUSEUM, STORE & CAFE HOURS

Tuesday and Wednesday 10 AM – 5 PM Thursday and Friday 10 AM – 9 PM Saturday and Sunday 10 AM – 5 PM Closed Monday, except on the following national holidays: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Presidents’ Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day, and Columbus Day. ADMISSION

ICA Family Programs and Play Dates are made possible by support from the JPMorgan Chase Foundation.

HOT TICKETS In the ICA Store: The World as a Stage Catalogue The exhibition is accompanied by a fully-illustrated catalogue with essays from exhibition curators Jessica Morgan and Catherine Wood.

$12 general admission $10 students and seniors FREE members and children 17 and under FREE after 5 pm on Target Free Thursday Nights FREE families (up to 2 adults per family with a child 12 or under) on the last Saturday of each month Target Free Thursday Nights are sponsored by ACCESSIBILITY

The ICA is fully wheelchair and stroller accessible. Official Hotel Sponsor

Official Media Sponsors


DIRECTIONS

The ICA is located at 100 Northern Avenue in Boston. It is walking distance from downtown and easily accessible by public transportation. There is affordable parking in the area, but fewer spots may be available in lots immediately adjacent to the ICA after 5 pm. There is some on-street parking.

CONTACT

The ICA is on the right. You will pass the entrance to Anthony’s Pier 4 and two parking lots before coming to the driveway leading to the ICA entrance.

General Information 617-478-3100 Membership 617-478-3102 Box Office 617-478-3103 Web www.icaboston.org E-mail info@icaboston.org

By car: The ICA is easily accessible from both I-90 and I-93. Please visit www.icaboston.org for detailed driving directions.

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From World Trade Center Station: Exit left onto Congress Street. Walk one block to the corner of B Street and turn right, crossing Congress Street. Follow B Street for one block. At the corner of B Street and Seaport Boulevard cross the street and turn left. At the next corner, turn right onto Northern Avenue.

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From Courthouse Station: Exit the station onto Seaport Boulevard and follow it, walking away from downtown. Just before the first traffic light, there will be a pedestrian opening in the fence on your leftwalk through it to the walkway that runs alongside the Chapel of Our Lady of Good Voyage. This will lead you to Northern Avenue. The ICA is across the street to the right at 100 Northern Avenue.

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Take the Red Line to South Station and transfer to the Silver Line Waterfront. The ICA is short walk from either Courthouse or World Trade Center station.

World Trade Center


THE IN ST IT U T E OF CO NT EMPORARY A R T/ B OS TON

100 Northern Avenue Boston, MA 02210 www.icaboston.org


ICA/Boston World As a Stage Brochure