Tag Archives: Tara Aisha Willis


GROUNDINGS, organized by Grace Deveney and Tara Aisha Willis, explores movement—seen and unseen—through a series of residencies with artists who work in dance, music, and performance art. The exhibition considers the reciprocal influence between bodies in motion and the invisible forces that govern movement, such as gravity, time, and electricity.

Over the run of GROUNDINGS, performers will hold open rehearsals in which they create performances and physical objects that speak to the themes of the exhibition.

GROUNDINGS artists include Katinka Bock, Blythe Bohnen, George Brecht, John Cage, Martin Soto Climent, Julia Dault, JimmyDeSana, Jonas Dovydenas, Adam EkbergWhit Forrester, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Rashid Johnson, IsaacJulien, Annette Kelm, Paul Mpagi Sepuya, Jack Pierson, Stan Shellabarger, Nancy Spero, Dannielle Tegeder, CarrieMae Weems, and James Welling.


Through May 12.

MCA Chicago

220 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago.

From top:

John CageA Dip in the Lake: Ten Quicksteps, Sixty-two Waltzes, and Fifty-six Marches for Chicago and Vicinity, 1978. Felt-tip pen on map. Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. © 1993 John Cage TrustPhotograph © MCA Chicago.

Annette KelmUntitled, 2012. Chromogenic development print. Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago.

Jimmy De SanaCowboy Boots, 1984. Vintage cibachrome. Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. Courtesy of the JimmyDe Sana Trust and Salon 94, New York.

Rashid Johnson, Multiple Consciousness, 2010. Gelatin silver print. Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. © 2010 RashidJohnsonPhotograph by Nathan Keay© MCA Chicago.


“I’m still thinking about the potential of using abstraction to speak to identity: How can these two things fit together when identity is so much about announcing, concretizing, and naming, and abstraction is about undoing? Of course, abstraction has roots in something real…

“What does it mean to break apart language, and its history, and to work with it pictographically? Dance has this process built into it already: its visual and affective impact scrambles language. It produces and speaks other languages of and about the body.” — Will Rawls*

WHAT REMAINS—a collaboration between poet and playwright Claudia Rankine, dancer/choreographer Will Rawls, and filmmaker and photographer John Lucas exploring how “erasure and exposure shape black American life”—comes to MCA/Chicago’s Warehouse this week.

Performers include Leslie Cuyjet, Jessica Pretty, and Tara Aisha Willis. The sound design is by Jeremy Toussaint-Baptiste, production design by David Szlasa, and costume design by Eleanor O’Connell.

Tonight, the museum presents Rankine and Rawls for a discussion about their practice.


Tuesday, December 4, at 8 pm.

Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago.



Wednesday through Sunday, December 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9, at 7:30 pm.

MCA Warehouse, 1747 West Hubbard Street, Chicago.

*”Will Rawls: 1000 Words,” Artforum, October 2018, 194.

Claudia Rankine, Will Rawls, and John LucasWhat Remains. Photographs © Julieta Cervantes, courtesy Live Arts Bard.