A Choreographed Exhibition

Art Center

from 8 Nov to 21 Dec 2008

Fia Backström, Jonah Bokaer, Philipp Egli, Karl Holmqvist, Jennifer Lacey, Roman Ondák, Michael Parsons, Michael Portnoy

Performed by Le Clubdes5 (Maeva Cunci, Mickaël Phelippeau, Carole Perdereau, Virginie Thomas)



Curator: Mathieu Copeland


“A Choreographed Exhibition” is composed entirely of movement. For the duration of a month and a half three dancers occupy the Art Center's empty spaces and, following eight artists' "partitions", interpret choreographic figures. 

Embracing dance, movement and relationships with time, “A Choreographed Exhibition” brings together a group of physical actions evocative of choreographed abstractions in an exhibition space. Six hours a day for a month and a half three dancers from the Clubdes5 collective are occupying the spaces at the Art Centre, following eight "scores" by visual artists, choreographers and musicians in a danced rendering of actions, figures and movements. In the absence of any sets, props or music, these actions resonate through the emptiness of the gallery with the dancers as the cynosure of all eyes.


The works are orchestrated and the event structured by the Art Centre's opening hours and the duration of the exhibition. Succeeding each other in an endless continuum, the movements evolve into nebulous, abstract shapes that unfold as they drift through space and time. The works act as revealers of space, and space in turn determines the movements. Spectator and performer share the same space, and the troubling proximity of the dancers and their often unpredictable movements forces members of the audience into motion and constant changes of position. The exhibition thus integrates viewer movements and the resultant proliferation of points of view.


Making no bones about its intangible, ephemeral character in an object-saturated world, “A Choreographed Exhibition” leaves no traces. The works exist only within the time required by their performance. Thus the exhibition materialises and dematerialises before our very eyes. It has no enduring existence, except in the memory.


The work by artist Roman Ondák opens and concludes each day of "A Choreographed Exhibition". The dancers are asked to roll up their everyday clothes, then put them on inside out: a reversal game in the form of an anti-performance to be executed as simply as possible, with the dancers ignoring their physical surroundings and the audience.


Choreographer Philipp Egli has come up with a work that begins with the dancers choosing at random an envelope containing a set of instructions. The immediate memory of the exercise to be performed intersects with a collective memory, as each dancer also strives to recall and reproduce the choreography created by the other two.


Composer Michael Parsons is offering an update of his crucial Walking Piece, written in 1969 for the Scratch Orchestra, which he co-founded with Cornelius Cardew and Howard Skempton. The dancers are given scores rewritten for an exhibition space and requiring them to draw straight lines that take its physical boundaries into account and thus generate a piece of "visual music".


Fia Backström and Michael Portnoy have come together specially to create a work reminiscent of the experimental theatre of the 1960s. The result, which could not be more topical, focuses on the stock exchange and trading systems: while two dancers perform tribal movements and grunt unintelligibly, a third declaims the daily rises and falls on the share market in time with a matching spatial trajectory.


Karl Holmqvist has composed a vocal polyphony that lets the dancers exploit the Art Centre's different acoustics with highly personal combinations of bits of pop songs and random movements.


Choreographer Jonah Bokaer is contributing three movements that each dancer performs at different points during the day: each movement vanishes into thin air immediately. Using touch, the dancers reveal the architectural structure of the space they are occupying. Thus Bokaer plays not only on the their memory but also on the memory of place.


Another choreographer, Jennifer Lacey, engages with the actual structure of the exhibition, modelling its interstices through a system of transitions between the various works. At the beginning of each day the dancers are asked to randomly establish the order of these transitions, which take the form of shared actions, rest periods, or pauses; this approach draws on a kind of "database" for each dancer as he or she cuts free of any "choreographic urge". In thus embracing the overall duration of the exhibition, Lacey helps to interconnect all the works and so ensures continuity.

Sat 8 Nov at 2 pm



Sun 21 Dec at 8 pm

cocktail-discussion with Mathieu Copeland and the artists-interpreters


infos pratiques

opening hours

Friday, Saturday, Sunday

from 2 pm to 8 pm



2€ full admission, 1€ students, free (Carte Buissonnière holders, - 12 years old)