Visual Culture and Dance - an Academic Discipline

2012 | XXXII

Conversations 2012

Guest Editor: Tamara Tomić-Vajagić

These days, it seems, visual art and dance are having a vibrant dialogue wherever you may look. While this mutual attraction is nothing new, the current rise in the interest of visual art curators in dance performance on the one hand, and the ideas by choreographers transposing dances into choreographic objects and performance installations and events in galleries, museums and other traditional visual art spaces on the other, create many new possibilities. This dialogue between the art forms is particularly lively on both sides of the Atlantic. In London, a surge of dance activities and explorations curated in key visual art venues have been seen in recent years: in 2010, two major dance exhibitions figured prominently (and simultaneously) in some of the key visual art spaces in the city. An interactive movement celebration, Move - Choreographing You, co-curated by Stephanie Rosenthal and André Lepecki, was shown in the Hayward Gallery of the Southbank Centre, while an homage to Diaghilev and his Ballets Russes (co-curated by Jane Pritchard and‚ Geoffrey Marsh) was revealed on the other bank of the Thames, in the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A). Both exhibitions proved internationally popular, attracting great numbers of international visitors (the former also toured Europe and Asia). In the past decade, Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall hosted events and residences by dance makers including William Forsythe and Michael Clark, and choreographic events by Tino Sehgal. This year featured the opening of the Tate Modern’s dedicated space, Tate Tanks — an arena for the exhibition and exploration of performance art. In New York City, the visual art-performance biennale, Performa has been exploring intersections of visual art and dance for several years (ever since its 2007 instalment that particularly investigated dance and visual art connections). At the time of writing this introduction, New Museum is hosting a residence of the dance/movement investigation laboratory Movement Research, focusing on the legacy of Judson Dance Theater. And this is just a snapshot of similar activities in two centres. read more