Participating artists include Aaron Rose, Alina Perkins, Amaryllis DeJesus Moleski, AmericanArtist, Amy Khoshbin, Amy Yao, Anna Sew Hoy, Barbara Kasten, Caitlin Keogh, Calida Rawles, Candida Alvarez, Christine Sun Kim, Davide Balula, Derrick Adams, Dyani White Hawk, Eileen Cowan, Elka Krajewska, Em Rooney, Guerrilla Girls, Isabel Yellin, Jaamil Olawale Kosoko, Jake Margolin, Jenny Holzer, Jesse Duquette, Jessica Rankin, Jim Hodges, Joseph Grigely, Julie Mehretu, Kambui Olujimi, Kamrooz Aram, Karen Finley, Kate Costello, Katherine Bernhardt, Keltie Ferris, Kennedy Yanko, Ken Okiishi, Laurie Simmons, Leidy Churchman, Luis Camnitzer, Macon Reed, Marc Hundley, Marcel Dzama, Mark Alice Durant, Mark Handforth, Marilyn Minter, Matthew Brannon, Megan Sant, Michael Stipe, Monument Lab (Paul Farber and Ken Lum), Morleigh Steinberg, Muna Malik, Nick Mauss, Nick Vaughan, Pam Lins, Paola Kudacki, Patti Smith, Paul Ramirez Jonas, RJ Messineo, Robert Davis, Robert Longo, Robert Wilson, Régime des Fleurs, Sally Mann, Sam Falls, SamTaylor-Johnson, Sanford Biggers, Sebastian Kim, Stewart Uoo, Tanya Aguiñiga, Thomas Dozol, Todd Selby, Tom Burr, Vicki DaSilva, Vincent Valdez, Wangechi Mutu, and Xylor Jane.
I came upon the word transmissions while thinking about how the ethereal, corporeal, and technical dimensions of ballet resonate in the artworks and souvenirs it produces. Transmissions are subject to interference and interruption. Ballets are conveyed to us through mediations, anecdotes, and bodies. And often when I’m watching ballet in its contemporary manifestations, I wonder how these transmissions have occurred.
I started looking into the history of ballet in the twentieth century… Through a web of genealogies, I eventually arrived at the flamboyant intersection of ballet and art in New York, beginning in the 1930s. There the avant-garde experiments of the previous decades in Europe incited a particularly intense cross-contamination, an overt articulation of homosexual erotics long before the emergence of a public language around queerness. Looking at modern American art of this period through the prism of ballet reveals a tangle of interrelationships, collaborations, derivations, and hybrid aesthetic programs that still feel surprisingly contemporary. — Nick Mauss*
Two years after the close of TRANSMISSIONS—Nick Mauss’ multimedia installation at the Whitney Museum of American Art—the museum and Dancing Foxes Press have published an exhibition catalog that beautifully extends the show, combining performance and exhibition images from the Whitney with an extensive selection of new illustrative and textual documentation.
I drew multiple webs of interrelationships, elective affinities, and echo waves of influence, focusing as much on the social, professional, sexual, and collaborative points of contact as on transhistorical resonances that were in some cases perhaps fantasy—eschewing standard mappings of modern art… [embracing] anachrony and distortion over apparent objectivity…
My decision to insist on ballet as the fulcrum in TRANSMISSIONS was also a response to the ubiquity of postmodern dance derivations within the contemporary museum environment and the reductive version of modernity that these prequalified dance idioms signify and cement. Contemporaneity is reduced to a “look” of modernity. Modernist ballets make for engaging historical documents precisely because their own relationship to history is a kind of suspension of disbelief; they are intrinsically modernist, even if they don’t “signal” modernity to contemporary eyes.— Nick Mauss*
The world of the spectator, the receiver, was a primary lens through which I constructed TRANSMISSIONS, and the flux of the exhibition’s daily audience over the course of two months took on a central role within it. This book is similarly directed at the wholly different—private, rather than social—negotiations of the reader. — Nick Mauss*
For his Museum Ludwig performance workTREATISE ON THE VEIL—part of the museum’sexhihibitionTRANSCORPOREALITIES—Nick Mauss “draws out resonances between disparate works from the museum’s collection, such as Jasper Johns’ 15′ Entr’acte (1961) encountering a painting of lingering performers by Erich Heckel (1928). In Mauss’ configuration, these works dialog with a projected photo archive by Carl Van Vechten and a new choreography developed with students from the University for Music and Dance Cologne.”*
The Museum Ludwig exhibition TRANSCORPOREALITIES “reflects on the museum as a permeable body in which various biological, social, technological, political, and economic systems flow into each other. Like all human and nonhuman entities, it engages in perpetual metabolic processes with its environment.”
On opening night—as well as Saturday and Sunday, November 30 and December 1—TrajalHarrell will perform a new work Dancer of the Year.
TRANSCORPOREALITIES participating artists also include Jesse Darling, Flaka Haliti, Paul Maheke, Nick Mauss, Park McArthur, Oscar Murillo, and Sondra Perry.
Dinner with Paul Cadmus in the Village. He showed me a hundred drawings or more; the nakedest and least disinterested are the best, particularly those of Jared French. Until lately they have shared this apartment, an oddly un-American interior; good shabby antiques; a quantity of books and music, charming evidence of self-education. Late in the evening a youth named Lloyd Goff, who was Paul’s assistant, wandered in, at his ease, sleepy, perhaps tipsy. Soon he threw himself on the couch and fell asleep… Paul and I talked and talked, reminiscence and theory, in that particular mood of ours, or of his: smiling relaxation, solemn boyish idealism, who knows what else…
Goff then woke up and undertook to say goodnight, but the next thing I knew, there he lay again, sprawled face down on another couch, his clothes all drawn on the bias and tight upon his very fine little back and buttocks. At last I gave up whatever impulse it was that had kept me so late. Paul fondly accompanied me to the subway. Perhaps, he said, he would make a drawing or two before he went to bed; our talk had been so stimulating, and a sleeping model suits him… — Glenway Westcott, 1937*
Falling between last year’s Nick Mauss: Transmissions at the Whitney and next month’s Lincoln Kirstein’s Modern at MOMA, THE YOUNG AND EVIL—curated by Jarrett Earnest at DavidZwirner—looks at the between-the-wars Neorealist-Romantic circles around the artists Jared French, his lover Paul Cadmus, his wife Margaret Hoening French (collectively known as PaJaMa), Cadmus’ sister Fidelma—who was married to Kirstein—Bernard Perlin, Pavel Tchelitchew, George Tooker, and Jensen Yow.
Taking its title from the 1933 collaborative novel by art critic Parker Tyler and poet Charles Henri Ford (Tchelitchew’s lover), the exhbition features never-before-exhibited photographs—many from the Kinsey Institute—rarely seen major paintings, sculptures, drawings, and ephemera of this American Bloomsbury, which included Katherine Anne Porter and the ménage à trois of writer Glenway Westcott, publisher Monroe Wheeler, and George Platt Lynes, who photographed (and often modeled for) them all.
THE YOUNG AND EVIL exhibition catalogue will be published later this year by David Zwirner Books, featuring new scholarship by Ann Reynolds and Kenneth E. Silver.