Concise, critical reviews of books, exhibitions, and projects in all areas and periods of art history and visual studies
March 23, 2017
Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker: Work/Travail/Arbeid
Centre Pompidou, Paris, February 26–March 6, 2016
Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, Work/Travail/Arbeid, performed by Rosas at Centre Pompidou, Paris, February 26–March 6, 2016. Choreography © Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker. Photograph © Laura Weigert.

[See the multimedia media review on Scalar.]

This review of Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker’s Work/Travail/Arbeid (2015–17) enlists the interactive, multimedia capabilities of the Scalar platform to evoke the dance exhibition’s ten-day run at the Centre Pompidou, Paris. The exhibition brought together several components of the Belgian choreographer and dancer’s broader project, including investigating choreography as writing movement in time and space, exploring the relationship and overlap between dance and music, and expanding the sites and audiences of dance performances. In her ongoing endeavor to introduce complex dance and music to a broader public and to preserve her choreography, De Keersmaeker has embraced a variety of media such as print, film, and video. This review follows her lead. My text describes my impression of Work/Travail/Arbeid as it took place over the course of ten days, during the opening hours of the Centre Pompidou. This text is interspersed with Anne Van Aerschot’s stunning photographs and my own snapshots, as well as video footage that more directly captures the movement and temporality of the performance. An additional audio segment highlights Gérard Grisey’s Vortex Temporum (1996), the composition played in the exhibition by the contemporary music ensemble Ictus. A transcription of my conversation with De Keersmaeker at her Brussels’s studio articulates and expands on the place of Work/Travail/Arbeid in the choreographer’s oeuvre and the distinctness of its performance at the Centre Pompidou. To further convey the specificity of the Paris venue, the review includes photographs and video from the exhibition’s prior marathon run at WIELS Contemporary Art Center in Brussels, and of its shorter run at the Tate Modern, London. An empty space is left at the review’s end in anticipation of Work/Travail/Arbeid’s opening at the Museum of Modern Art in New York on March 29, 2017.

Laura Weigert
Associate Professor, Department of Art History, Rutgers University

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