William Forsythe

William Forsythe

Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden

William Forsythe, Black Flags, 2014. © The Forsythe Company. Galerie Neue Meister, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden. Photo: David Brandt.

December 13, 2014

William Forsythe
Black Flags

November 27, 2014–January 11, 2015

An exhibition by the Galerie Neue Meister, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden
in cooperation with The Forsythe Company

Kunsthalle im Lipsiusbau
Brühlsche Terrasse, Dresden
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 10am–6pm


In the “white cube” of the Kunsthalle in the Lipsiusbau, two industrial robots wave enormous black flags. Accompanied by the operating noise of the robots, their continuous movements leave spectators without a place to rest their gaze, removing any steady reference point in the space. The waving flags translate the digital algorithm that controls the robots into a series of gestural movements in space that appear controlled, unpredictable, weightless, and measured at one and the same time.

“This work is viscerally intimidating, yet mesmerizing, creepy and wonderful in spite of the obvious classical patterning strategies.”
–William Forsythe

Also on display, besides the installation in the large hall, are two video works by Forsythe. Bookmaking (2008) has been re-edited for the purposes of this exhibition. A wall of monitors features film sequences, cut in rapid succession, that show Forsythe as he tries to print a book with his own body.

“Like the robots, the structural framework is deliberately counterpointed, although in the film my body gets into a somewhat pathetic, but intentionally disorganized mess. This physical frailty stands in stark contrast to the indestructible quality of the robots.”
–William Forsythe

In the latest video work by William Forsythe, we see strawberries being immersed over and over by a jet of water. In contrast to the recognizable choreographic positions in the other two works, this video piece depicts a clearly defined organization instigated by other means.

“The evidence of pattern, and the observer’s anticipation of emergent structure makes for a slightly absurd lecture in the pleasures of choreographic apprehension.”
–William Forsythe

Choreographer and artist William Forsythe (b. in 1949 in New York City) started his career in classical ballet. He went on to revolutionize the idea and practice of dance, creating interactive pieces that repeatedly blur the boundaries between classical choreography, theatre, performance, film, and choreographed objects. Citing René Magritte, Forsythe states that “An object is not so possessed by its own name that one could not find another or better one.”

Press contact: presse [​at​] skd.museum / T +49 (0) 351/4914 2643



Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden presents William Forsythe
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