Originally produced for the 9th Lyon Biennale of Contemporary
Art and filmed on location at the Kitchen NY, Evening was
conceived as a ‘remake' of the 1924 agit prop play of the
same title that was conceived as an experiment in mass
artistic agitation for the book, and dramatized the conflict
between old pre-revolutionary and new revolutionary books.
Using actors from the academy of communist education, in a
set & with costumes designed by Varvara Stepanova, it was a
pantomime that culminated in the victory of the revolutionary
heroes and a parade of libraries and new editions.
This performance, in which books and letters are actors in their
own right, seemed a suitable starting point for the artist's first
array into moving images. Using props sometimes inspired by
those of the original evenings, such as the books or the sports
costume, sometimes unrelated such as the fluorescent tubes,
the cut out from the banner, or the commas, Mai-Thu Perret
devised the outline of a choreography which was performed
for the camera by a team composed of artist friends such as
Amy Granat or Fia Backström, and professional dancers, on a music composed by Steven Parrino.
Mai-Thu Perret was born in 1976 in Geneva, where she lives and works. She studied at Cambridge University and the Whitney Independent Study Program, New York. The first body of works she developed was entitled "The Crystal Frontier": a series that comprises text and objects, which she describes as either the hypothetical production of a group of women living in autarchy in the desert of New Mexico, or the materialization of the principles that shape their everyday life. Investigating our relationships to common objects found in contemporary art, design spaces, and shops, the artist engages with the consequences and changing realities of utopian thinking as it becomes incorporated into capitalism's mainstream.
Edited by Mathieu Copeland.
With Fia Backström, Tara Lee Burns, Faye Driscoll, Lesley Garrison, Amy Granat, Roche Janken, Emily McKinnon, Maiko Ota, Elizabeth Valdez. The Spider Song, lyrics by Mai-Thu Perret, music by Steven Parrino.