SITE POEMS are self-contained works for small spaces... galleries, store-fronts, alleyways. They require minimal lighting and are designed for pass-by views as well as seated audiences. They include Video Portrait, Go Tell Aunt Rhodie, Falling Downstairs, Muscle Memories, and Do You Wanta Dance?
New site poems can be made in collaboration with local artists. Past collaborations include video by Molly Davies, decor by Brooklyn based artist Siobhan Liddell, sound and music compositions by Paul Geluso, Sam Haar, and DJ M. Singe from Cultural Alchemy, costumes by New York artist Anna Craycroft.
SITE POEMS complement stage programming by offering theater presenters opportunities to collaborate with galleries, museums and other public spaces. Conversely, they can attract dance lovers to museums and visual arts contexts that may be new to them. Their intimate scale and portability work in a variety of venues. They tour with community outreach programs that might include newly commissioned works for local performers.
Fear of heights and chance procedures determine Go Tell Aunt Rhodie, a solo performed on three ladders. The rustling of the extravagant costume by Anna Craycroft, inspired by Kikki Smith and the Renaissance painter, Pietro Longhi, accompanies the sound evocatively playing through speakers beneath the ladders. It may be performed simultanously by more than one dancer.
Do You Wanta Dance resembles a free kissing booth for a one-on-one dance. Or, as many people as there are headsets and Ipods can dance simultaneously. Elevators are wonderful places for this dance!
Drawing from the Body is an evening of performance and interactive video and sound. The evening consists of Autopsy, a thirty minute performance with live video feed from two cameras, mixed by Molly Davies. Motley's performance occurs and is shot in one room while the changing video mix is largely displayed in another. The audience moves at will between the two rooms. Completing the program is Dressing, a three-monitor installation by Davies of a four minute, three synchronous tape work of Motley's dressing. Audience members are given cameras; the photographs they take, along with a mix of the performance video may be left in installation.
Concerning Performance for Museums, Galleries and Public Sites
John Cage wrote that for art to be contemporary it must be fluent with its environment. This means to me that it should not interfere with the real world that is happening around it, and what naturally occurs in the environment around it need not be stopped to accommodate the art.
The performances I make for out of theater sites are inspired by the architecture, art, and functions of each place. They use the space and performance actions in mutually elucidating ways that give fresh perspectives on the site and the way people use them.
My aesthetic tends toward the contemplative. I make situations where engagement with the work can be as slow and deep as the spectator wants it to be. These body-based installation-performances consider the environment as a whole, the performance being one of many elements.
There are a few basic practical considerations:
- I respect the usual function of areas. Unless there is a publicized event occurring at a specific time, stairways are not blocked, resting benches are not occupied, thoroughfares are not impeded.
- I emphasize the designed views of the art and the landscape.
- I make viewers as comfortable as possible. A schedule of what they may discover is helpful. At the same time the element of surprise can be advantageous. To turn a corner in a museum and unexpectedly come upon the elegance of a gesture can be wonderfully arresting. Still, it is important to know how best to prepare visitors.