Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company 30th Anniversary Exhibition
Sep 20 - Nov 3 | Upstairs Galleries and Grand Lobby
Gallery Admission: $10 / Student, Senior, Teacher, Student: $8 / YBCA Members and YBCA:You FREE
FREE admission Sep 30–Oct 18
This survey exhibition highlights significant works by visual artists and designers that have played integral roles in works by the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company since the early 1980s. Often seen in supporting roles, these sets, props, or moving images on screens set the tone or become primary interactive elements for the company’s choreography. Several photographic works created in collaboration with Bill T. Jones are also on view.
The contribution of stage sets, painting, sculpture, décor, design, costumes, and objects to choreography has been under-recognized. This exhibition sets out to present some of the most important visual and media based elements from the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company repertoire as significant artistic objects in their own right.
Of the works in this exhibition, Gretchen Bender’s (1951-2004) videos for the dance Still/Here (1994) have become the most well-known, in part because of the process by which they were created. Built upon videos of workshops conducted with people facing or having faced life-threatening illnesses, the work triggered a fierce debate about art’s relationship to individual suffering. This and other works including Huck Snyder’s table, chairs, and masks for Last Supper at Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1990), and Keith Haring’s backdrop design, Garden of Radio Delights for Secret Pastures (1984), are examples of collaborations with well-known visual artists that are integral to the experience of Jones’ choreography.
While Bill T. Jones (and Arnie Zane, until his death in 1988) collaborated with various artists and designers for the first 15 years of the company, Bjorn Amelan has become the company’s de facto main collaborator in visual forms since the mid-1990s. On view here are his drops and sculptures for various dances including the backdrop for Black Suzanne (2002), the mobile décor for The Breathing Show (1999), and the sculptures for Verbum (2002). Works by other company members include Blauvelt Mountain (2011), a triptych video by Janet Wong, the company’s associate artistic director, where the original dance from 1980 is then reconstructed on different pairings of dancers in 2002 and 2011, spanning the company’s history; and a cloak of artificial flowers by Liz Prince. In addition to works created for dance, the photographic works by Kunie Sugiura and Tseng Kwong Chi, are the result of collaborative portraits with Bill T. Jones. The images by the latter, featuring Jones’s body decorated by Keith Haring, have come to represent the spirit of New York’s downtown art scene in the early 1980s. Haring’s iconic hieroglyphics mirror Jones’s expressive dance poses, creating a perfect convergence of art and dance.
YBCA's programs are made possible in part by:
National Endowment for the Arts
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts is grateful to the City of San Francisco for its ongoing support.
YBCA Exhibitions 13-14 is made possible in part by:
Mike Wilkins and Sheila Duignan, Meridee Moore and Kevin King, the Creative Ventures Council and Members of Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
Free First Tuesdays
Underwritten by Directors Forum Members