Jonah Bokaer & Daniel Arsham – Study for Occupant as part of #recollections exhibition – London

Jonah Bokaer and Daniel Arsham's cast in <I>#recollections</I> exhibition.<br />© Juliana Vasquez, courtesy the <a href="http://www.houldsworth.co.uk">Pippy Houldsworth Gallery</a>. (Click image for larger version)

Jonah Bokaer and Daniel Arsham’s cast in #recollections exhibition.
© Juliana Vasquez, courtesy the Pippy Houldsworth Gallery. (Click image for larger version)

Jonah Bokaer: Study for Occupant
Daniel Arsham exhibition: #recollections

London, Pippy Houldsworth Gallery
15 October. Exhibition continues to 16 November 2013.
www.jonahbokaer.net
www.danielarsham.com
www.houldsworth.co.uk

Daniel Arsham is a multi-disciplinary artist who collaborated with Merce Cunningham during the last four years of his life: Arsham was the last and youngest artist to design for the Cunningham company (only 26 when Merce first  commissioned him in 2006). He’s gone on to work with Robert Wilson on performance pieces, while continuing his career as a sculptor, architect, painter and film maker. The small show in London, coinciding with Frieze Art Fair, is Arsham’s first solo exhibition here, though his work has been seen elsewhere in Europe, as well as the United States.
 

Jonah Bokaer and Daniel Arsham's cast in <I>#recollections</I> exhibition.<br />© Juliana Vasquez, courtesy the <a href="http://www.houldsworth.co.uk">Pippy Houldsworth Gallery</a>. (Click image for larger version)

Jonah Bokaer and Daniel Arsham’s cast in #recollections exhibition.
© Juliana Vasquez, courtesy the Pippy Houldsworth Gallery. (Click image for larger version)

He has collaborated with the dancer-choreographer, Jonah Bokaer, on several projects for museums and galleries. Bokaer danced with the Cunningham company for seven years (2000  – 2007) and now pursues art-related projects. He performed briefly in the Houldsworth Gallery as a prelude to a new collaboration with Arsham in an upcoming art festival in Miami Beach.

Dressed in black, Bokaer was the mobile partner in a duet with a glittering white cast of Arsham. The static figure stands with one arm shielding his eyes: dressed in everyday clothes, the cast, made of glass and resin, is a modern version of a petrified Pompeian. It stands sentinel in the exhibition over casts of industrial relics eroded by ash: moulds of out-of-date cameras, film projector, microphone, radio, telephone. Once used as means of communication, they are made to seem as antique as clay tablets or papyrus scrolls.
 

Jonah Bokaer and Daniel Arsham's cast in <I>#recollections</I> exhibition.<br />© Juliana Vasquez, courtesy the <a href="http://www.houldsworth.co.uk">Pippy Houldsworth Gallery</a>. (Click image for larger version)

Jonah Bokaer and Daniel Arsham’s cast in #recollections exhibition.
© Juliana Vasquez, courtesy the Pippy Houldsworth Gallery. (Click image for larger version)

Bokaer appeared a live shadow against a white wall of the gallery, a transient memory of the crystallised ghost-statue standing nearby. Bokaer was a remarkable Cunningham dancer, capable of sustaining a balance for longer than seemed humanly possible. Here he froze in a deep backbend, arms raised like a Minotaur’s horns. Then he progressed along the wall, arms angled in motion like the cast’s, until, after an arabesque penchée, he echoed the figure’s pose. Tantalisingly brief, I’d love to see more of Bokaer in action and of Daniel Arsham’s fertile imagination. Photographs of Arsham’s installations and paintings in art books featuring his work are alluring. Since the Merce Cunningham Dance Company no longer exists, we’ll never see Arsham’s designs in performance. But the Cunningham archive of some 150 artworks, including those by Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns and Andy Warhol, is in the collection of the Walker Arts Center in Minneapolis and will eventually be on display in the US.
 

About author
Work for DanceTabs
Reviews on Balletco

A long-established dance writer, Jann Parry was dance critic for The Observer from 1983 to 2004 and wrote the award-winning biography of choreographer Kenneth MacMillan: ‘Different Drummer’, Faber and Faber, 2009. She has written for publications including The Spectator, The Listener, About the House (Royal Opera House magazine), Dance Now, Dance Magazine (USA), Stage Bill (USA) and Dancing Times. As a writer/producer she worked for the BBC World Service from 1970 to 1989, covering current affairs and the arts. As well as producing radio programmes she has contributed to television and radio documentaries about dance and dancers.

DanceTabs © 2017 All Rights Reserved

© All here is copyright DanceTabs and the author concerned. Do not steal our words or pictures please. Thank you.