From Our Archive
This story was published before Summer 2021, when we launched our new digital experience.

The First Exhibition Devoted Entirely to Performance Art Opens in DC

‘Does the body rule the mind, or does the mind rule the body?’ explores the way dance can be used as a revolutionary tool.

MOST READ ARTS
ABT principal dancers Calvin Royal III and Christine Shevchenko as Siegfried and Odette in “Swan Lake.”

Performance

On Pointe

One of New York City’s most venerable cultural institutions returns to the stage.

Going for Baroque

Performance

Going for Baroque

Boston’s Handel and Haydn Society takes the idea of the orchestra all the way back...

Lin-Manuel Miranda, leaning against a shelf inside the Drama Book Shop.

Performance

Selling the Drama

A conversation with Lin-Manuel Miranda on theater, creativity, and the endless...

Increasingly, the most vibrant museum exhibitions don’t involve masterpieces hung on a wall, or art that’s static at all. Performance has become one of the most lively of mediums, invigorating the staid structures of art fairs the world over and turning the idea of a snoozy stroll through a museum’s halls on its head.

The Hirshhorn museum has seized upon this trend with a landmark exhibition: its first entirely devoted to performance art and, more specifically, devoted to the work of artists who use contemporary dance to mix avant-garde gesture with pop cultural influences. Five performers blending music, spoken word and movement will make the museum’s unique circular galleries their stages, exploring ideas about the body and identity in these intimate spaces.

The variety of subject matter inspiring the performances is exemplary. Jen Rosenblit, a 2018 Guggenheim fellow, will play five different characters in her I’m gonna need another one; Mariana Valencia’s Album will continue her explorations of ethnography and cross-cultural identity; Morgan Bassichis’ Me But Also Everybody (Part IV) will blend stand-up comedy and intense self-examination in a work for piano and voice; Will Rawls’ Cursor 1: Word Lists finds the artist exploring the role of the computer cursor as a kind of body in and of itself; and Moriah Evans’ Be My Muse will find its creator staying five days in the galleries for a cycle of 49-minute performances exposing her process to the public. For all these works, viewers are intended to be actively engaged – dance partners, of a sort (and it’s all free to museum visitors). June 20 - Aug. 12; Independence Ave. SW at 7th St. SW.

Newsletter

Let’s Keep in Touch

Subscribe to our newsletter

You’re no longer on our newsletter list, but you can resubscribe anytime.