April 29–June 25, 2017
Gala: May 10–11, Italian premiere; coproduction between the Centro Pecci and the Festival Fabbrica Europa
Fabbrica Europa, Florence
Centro per l'arte contemporanea Luigi Pecci
Viale della Repubblica 277
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How do you dance in a museum? How can you get carried away by the power of this discipline in a place dedicated by definition (even if less exclusively than in the past) to the visual arts? How do you keep the intensity of a dance for a period of time that is as extended as the institution's opening hours? And how does dance interact with the background noise of the museum, with the continued mobility of its visitors, with the rigidity of its architecture? And finally, what does the museum do to dance?
76’38’’+ ∞, the first solo exhibition of the French choreographer Jérôme Bel curated by Antonia Alampi, directly confronts these questions, deeply related to his artistic research always engaged in challenging the ontology of dance and its conventions. An artistic path that saw him including in his work non-professional dancers, children, elderly or people with disabilities. The conversational nature of many of his works, among other things, has in some cases released the dancers from their role as pure interpreters, making them active subjects and even co-authors of his pieces, with their biography or their own professional history at the center of their dramaturgical development. In this sense, the concept of emancipation, ethical as much as aesthetical, of the dancer's body and mind is often at the center of his practice, becoming also a wider metaphor for the necessity—and difficulties—of emancipation of the individual from the rhythms and dogmas of the post-Fordist society.
The title of the exhibition 76’38’’+ ∞ refers to its total duration, a direct connection to the different notions of time the sphere of the visual arts and of dance usually imply. An encouragement to observe the works on display—all time-based—from the beginning to the end, a classical norm in theater, an unusual behavior in the museum. Infinity here becomes a reference to the possibility of a "new dance," an on-going dance created just for the museum and for its needs: a work without an end, thought to be experienced from a few seconds to eternity.
76’38’’+ ∞ is an exhibition that unfolds through what Bel himself referred to as a "dramaturgy of dis-alienation," articulated around five key works created over the past 20 years. From a formal point of view, the exhibition has a performative component and a filmic one, with live performances taking place every weekend and a newly commissioned piece taking place throughout the entire time of the exhibition titled Danzare come se nessuno stesse guardando. All other works on display have been realized expressly for the video-camera, a medium that Bel has always adopted to present his work, linking to the history of contemporary dance and its relationship to the moving image.
In conjunction with the exhibition Gala (2015) will be presented within the dance festival Fabbrica Europa in Florence.
Jérôme Bel lives in Paris and works worldwide. Some of his most important choreographic works include Shirtology (1997), Véronique Doisneau (2004), Disabled Theater (2012) and Gala (2015). His shows and films have been presented in art biennials and museums around the globe, including the Yokohama Triennale, MoMA New York, dOCUMENTA(13), Tate Modern, Centre Pompidou Paris, Malaga and Metz, Biennale de Lyon, Biennale of Porto Alegre and Biennale of Tirana, Palais de Tokyo, Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, MABA Buenos Aires, Performa New York and Fondation Bernardo Lisboa.
Head of Production: Elena Magini
Coordinator performances: Giulia Poli
Artist’s assistant: Chiara Gallerani
Executive direction RB Jérôme Bel and artistic advice: Rebecca Lee
Administration RB Jérôme Bel: Sandro Grando
RB Jérôme Bel is supported by the Direction régionale des affaires culturelles d'Ile-de-France, French Ministry for Culture and Communication, and by the Institut Français, French Ministry for Foreign Affairs, for its international tours.
Partners: Fabbrica Europa, Fondazione Teatro Metastasio di Prato, Institut Français Firenze, Kinkaleri.