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> > > MAY 27 – JUNE 14, 2014 AT EMPAC



“At the moment my uber art question has to do with “the value of a thing:” The economy may be our “new sacred” (has been for some time!?). And if so what else is there to worship and or disrupt? A silly and yet worrisome question. The distinction of the monetization of a thing vs the value of a thing, and in the case of performance the value of a moment.

I wait for the day when a museum acquires a dance. Not it’s artifactual qualities, its archives, hardware and residue (sweat stained costumes), not even something alive that poses as a performance as object, a performative substitute for something fixed, in the voracious inanimate spatial politic of the fixed object. (Yes, Tino Sehgal has created a stirring). I wait for the acquisition of a moment, a collecting of memory. Nothing else. This ephemerality, this nothing else, is what I understand a dance, a performance to be.”

I shared the above at a recent public discussion/event at Judson Church, part of a panel discussion titled, Why Dance In The Art World? A Look At the Recent Explosion Of The Art World’s Interest in Dance.

This broad title question proposes for me another question: What is the theatricality of the museum/gallery space? A simple definition of “theater,” is the area in which something happens. Or “To behold” from the Greek, theasthai.  So in essence I think the question is a question of space politics, the embodiment of a space. What is a room? The possibilities of a room? With Scaffold Room I hope to invert the question back into the theater world and of course beyond.

This is what I would like to propose to the “spaces,” “rooms,” interested in some kind of presentation of Scaffold Room: Any and all presenters for this next work will (rigorously) design a plan to acquire the “memory” of this work, Scaffold Room. Will discuss with the artist/me what exchange is adequate in the acquisition and make an announcement, make it public. Each acquisition will be different, philosophically aligned with the politics of the specific presenter and the institution. No money will be exchanged, other than the   costs of the actual production. But there should be some metaphorical (and labor?) costs to the institution for this “memory acquisition.” TBD.

A book(let), essay, will also be required, written by a select few scholars, selected by the artist, will write “a collectable,” for each venue, to help hold or and or challenge the recollection of the event. (Brent Edwards, Daphne Brooks, Fred Moten, Thomas Lax, Andre Lepecki…)

Ralph Lemon is a performer, choreographer, writer, and visual artist. He currently serves as the artistic director of Cross Performance, a company dedicated to the creation of cross-cultural and cross-disciplinary performance and presentation.


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