Exploring Asian Arts At Guggenheim Museum

Ruzan Haruriunyan's picture

In conjunction with The Third Mind: American Artists Contemplate Asia, 1860–1989, an exhibition that illuminates the dynamic and complex impact of Asian art, literature, music, and philosophical concepts on American art, the Guggenheim Museum presents The Third Mind Live, a performance and lecture series that will bring world-renowned practitioners in the fields of dance, music, performance art, and theater to the museum's theater and gallery spaces.

Focusing on the artists' relationships with Asia as a source of creative and conceptual inspiration, The Third Mind Live corresponds to the more than 200 works on view in the exhibition, and features several new and site-specific programs by American artists, including the world premiere of a work by Robert Wilson.

The Third Mind Live Schedule:

Meredith Monk, Ascension Variations
Thursday, March 5, 6:30pm and 9pm

For this one-night, site-specific performance, Meredith Monk will radically transform the spiraling galleries of the Guggenheim rotunda, adapting her most recent work, Songs of Ascension, to the museum's unique geometry. Featuring Monk's Vocal Ensemble, a string quartet, a chorus of over 80 singers, and dozens of dancers performing throughout the space, Ascension Variations comprises movement and sound that is constantly shifting and changing, evolving and expanding. Monk's use of the museum's architecture also recalls Juice, the history-making work that the composer, choreographer, and multi-disciplinary artist created for the Guggenheim in 1969. To celebrate her original work at the Guggenheim, Monk will incorporate elements of Juice into her Ascension Variations performance.

Laurie Anderson, Transitory Life: Some Stories
Thursday, March 12, 8pm and Friday, March 13, 8pm

This new solo performance, a collection of adventure stories, poems and music, has been created by Laurie Anderson specifically in response to the themes of The Third Mind exhibition. These pieces, drawn from her life's work, reflect a sensibility she attributes to her "practice of attention" and interest in Buddhism. Set within the intimate space of the museum's Frank Lloyd Wright-designed theater, Transitory Life promises to be a uniquely personal and compelling opportunity to experience Anderson's world-renowned performance work.

La Monte Young, Marian Zazeela, and The Just Alap Raga Ensemble perform Young's magnum opus Raga Sundara in the Dream House, La Monte Young, Marian Zazeela, Jung Hee Choi, Da'ud Constant, voices; Charles Curtis, cello; Jon Catler, electric sustainer guitar; Naren Budhkar, tabla.
Saturday, March 14, 9pm and Saturday, March 21, 9pm

Jung Hee Choi performs RICE, her site-specific multi-channel video sound installation with "Composition in the style of La Monte Young's 1960 sustained friction sounds" in the Dream House
Saturday, March 28, 9pm; tickets $30, $25 members, $10 students under 25

The Just Alap Raga Ensemble, led by founding figures of minimalist music and light art La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela, will perform within the space of their Dream House, a continuous electronic sound environment in luminous fields of colored light currently installed in the museum as part of The Third Mind. Activating Dream House through live performance is an essential aspect of the artists' conception. On March 14 and 21, the ensemble will perform Young's composition featuring extended alap sections and sustained vocal and instrumental drones in just intonation over tamburas. On March 28, Young and Zazeela's disciple Jung Hee Choi will perform solo in a setting of her acclaimed video sound installation RICE.

Merce Cunningham in conversation with Laura Kuhn, Dancers on a Plane
Tuesday, March 31, 6:30pm

In a unique performance-conversation, Laura Kuhn, executive director of the John Cage Trust, speaks about Cage's lifelong engagement with Zen Buddhism and how he developed the practice of using I Ching-inspired chance operations in his musical scores, poetry, and visual art, which allowed him to embrace unforeseen possibilities. Joining Kuhn in conversation, the legendary dance choreographer Merce Cunningham will be poised to discuss the use of chance in his work, how his methods differ from Cage's, and why. The evening concludes with a demonstration by Cunningham, who will work live with DanceForms, a specialized digital software program, to create a short choreographic phrase.

yoko ono in conversation with Alexandra Munroe, Passages for Light
Thursday, April 2, 6:30pm

Artist, writer, composer, performer, and filmmaker Yoko Ono discusses her ideas on Asian art and thought with the Guggenheim's Senior Curator of Asian Art and curator of The Third Mind, Alexandra Munroe. Ono, who is known for her contributions to the development of Conceptual art, will also include a performance as part of the program, as well an interactive event with the audience.

Marina Abramovic, Night Sea Crossing, a lecture
Tuesday, April 7, 6:30pm

The celebrated performance artist Marina Abramovic discusses the series of twenty-two Night Sea Crossing performances (1981-87) created with her former collaborator, Ulay (Uwe Layesiepen). Created after Ulay and Abramovic had returned from a long period in the Australian outback, the performance work consisted of Abramovic and Ulay seated in stillness and silence with a Tibetan Buddhist lama and a member of the Pintubi tribe from the Central Australian Desert. This performance piece was presented in nineteen different locations for a total of ninety days. Night Sea Crossing is among Abramovic's earliest tableaux pieces that layers time, presence, and mindfulness into a lived collaborative moment for viewer and performer.

Robert Wilson, KOOL – Dancing in My Mind – World Premiere
Friday, April 17, 7:30pm and Saturday, April 18, 7:30pm

Robert Wilson, working with Carla Blank, creates a performance-portrait inspired by Suzushi Hanayagi, legendary Japanese performer and choreographer of classical dance. Wilson started working with Hanayagi in his 1984 production of The Knee Plays, which was partially developed in Japan. In 2008 he sought her out in an Osaka home for the elderly where she has been living for years in a state of dementia. Archival and newly filmed material of Hanayagi by Richard Rutkowski is combined with recreation of performance material and newly choreographed dances performed by Jonah Bokaer and Illenk Gentille and others. The work reflects Hanayagi's current state and serves as a poetic monument to a working friendship. KOOL - Dancing in My Mind is co-produced and co-commissioned by Works & Process; Guild Hall, East Hampton; and the Byrd Hoffman Watermill Foundation with support from the Jerome Robbins Foundation.

In addition to The Third Mind Live, an array of public programs will be presented under the auspices of the Sackler Center for Arts Education. Panel discussions, lectures, and performance programs will take a multidisciplinary perspective drawing from the fields of visual art, music, literature, dance, philosophy, and cultural studies. In addition, programming will feature a film and video series, a school tour and workshop program, after-school and technology-based programs, professional development workshops for educators, curriculum guides, family events and tours, and integrated digital components such as an audio tour. -- www.guggenheim.org

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