For the 57th Venice Biennale (2017), Dawn Kasper made history as the first artist to live and work inside the Central Pavilion for the duration of the exhibition. For her contribution to the Biennale, Kasper presented a six- month durational performance installation titled The Sun, The Moon, The Stars (2017). The exposed passage of time in relationship to daily practice proposed a significant challenge to the assumed boundaries between the artist’s studio and life, occupying the grandiose Sala Chini, the ornate hexagonal entry portal into the “Pavilion of Artists and Books,” the main chapter of the Biennale. The Sun, The Moon, The Stars (2017) represents the culmination, and conclusion, of Kasper’s decade-long Nomadic Studio Practice – an earlier iteration titled This Could Be Something If I let It (2012) was exhibited and performed during the 2012 Whitney Biennial. Taking many forms throughout the six-month duration of the exhibition, The Sun, The Moon, The Stars (2017) became a mythological map and a musical score, marrying, as Kasper’s work often does, a cosmological investigation with a post-Fluxus poetics of everyday materials, blurring art and daily life.
For her third solo exhibition at David Lewis, and her first exhibition since returning from Venice, Kasper returns to the question of cosmology, specifically a re-telling of the primordial story of creation, circling as its central axis nature and the tree of life. Four Scores (From Zero to Nothing) is a new installation and structured improvised sound and performance series addressing topics of human behavior and the creation myth. An exhibition comprised of four sub-chapters; 0. Ex Nihilo “out of nothing”, 1. Axis Mundi (Tree of Life), 2. Monolith (TMA-1), referencing 2001 A Space Odyssey by Stanley Kubrick, and 3. “Everybody is Somebody’s Family” referencing ‘Poem For js’ by Claudia La Rocco. Exploring sculpture, installation, movement, sound, tone and frequency in order to emulate human sensibility in relationship to the mythologies that encompass aspects of creation.
“What Joyce called “the grave and constant” in human sufferings Campbell knew to be a principle theme of classic mythology. “The secret cause of all suffering,” he said “is mortality itself, which is the prime condition of life. It cannot be denied if life is to be affirmed.”(1)
Exhibition Performance series:
Friday, November 16th: Opening Performance with James Krone
Friday, November 30th: Performance with Andrew Lampert
Friday, December 14th: Performance with Jeff Preiss
Friday, December 21st: Performance with Zeena Parkins
(1.) Cambell, Joseph and Bill Moyers. “Introduction.” In The Power of Myth, ed. Betty Sue Flowers (New York: Doubleday, 1988).
Dawn Kasper (b.1977, Fairfax, Virginia) is a New York-based interdisciplinary artist working in performance, installation, sculpture, drawing, photography, video and sound. Her work emerges out of a fascination with existentialism, subjects of vulnerability, desire, and the construction of meaning. In 2017, Kasper participated in the 57th Venice Biennale, Viva Arte Viva, curated by Christine Macel, with a 6-month durational performative installation in the Central Pavilion entitled “The Sun, The Moon, and The Stars” (2017). Recent solo exhibitions include: Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, Portland, OR; Tang Museum, Skidmore College, NY; ADN Collection, Bolzano, Italy; CCS Bard College, NY (with Simon Fujiwara); Issue Project Room, New York; and David Lewis, among others. Recent group exhibitions include American Academy in Rome, Italy; The 2012 Whitney Biennial, curated by Elisabeth Sussman and Jay Sanders, Whitney Museum of American Art, NY; Tramway, Glasgow, Scotland; The Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA; Paci c Standard Time Public and Performance Art, Los Angeles, CA; Public Art Fund, Art Basel Miami Beach, FL; The Migros Museum fur Gegenwartskunst, Zurich, among others. Kasper’s work is included in the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY; ADN Collection, Bolzano, Italy; and Aïshti Foundation, Beirut, Lebanon; among others.all images © the gallery and the artist(s)