If I Can’t Dance, I Don’t Want To Be Part Of Your Revolution – in collaboration wih the Stedelijk Museum, Kunstverein and STUK arts centre – is restaging the play Iglu [1977; approx 45 min; English spoken] by Guy de Cointet and Robert Wilhite at Frascati WG in Amsterdam. Following the performance, If I Can’t Dance has invited Marie de Brugerolle, leading expert on the work of Guy de Cointet, to give a lecture that will take place on Thursday 11 November at 17.00 hrs at the Stedelijk Museum.
From the late 1960s until his untimely death in 1983, French-born artist Guy de Cointet was an influential member of the Los Angeles art scene. His encrypted works on paper and theatrical productions – inspired by the works of Raymond Roussel and the tropes of TV soap opera – were often as mysterious as the man himself.
De Cointet’s performances are surreal sceneries in which ordinary, daily events are linked to specific objects, colours and letters – often in a cryptic and humerous way. Iglu combines a highly visual language with television situation comedy, Rousselian word play, and drama. A special role is attributed to sound. For Iglu, cowriter Robert Wilhite – who often fabricated the objects onstage for de Cointet’s productions – authored music and composed a sound track featuring prerecorded phrases from a Spanish-language course.
As a Frenchman in the USA, Guy de Cointet was very well aware of the imprecision of language, misunderstandings and ambiguous meanings of words. Yet he observed how people still seemed to understand each other, even though their words could be interpreted in different ways. As a result, he sensed that the audience could accommodate to his vision of language as a medium, with its own rhythm, plot and dynamics. De Cointet’s performances stage the question of how reality is perceived and interpreted.
Iglu premiered at Vanguard Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles, in 1977. Its first restaging took place 33 years later at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield, Connecticut, as part of the exhibition Paying A Visit To Mary. Now the play has its European premiere in Amsterdam. Iglu is being performed by Helen Berlant, Allison Byrnes, Carmen Thomas en Leo Tolkin.
Performance in Residence
If I Can’t Dance invited Marie de Brugerolle to be the first cultural practitioner to carry out research in the new programme Performance in Residence. Performance in Residence aims to research seminal performances in order to reactivate them by connecting archival research to practice. The restaging of Iglu and the lecture at the Stedelijk Museum mark the start of this research period. At the Stedelijk Museum, Marie de Brugerolle will give an introduction to Guy de Cointet’s work and screen a short version of her documentary film.
Marie de Brugerolle
Art historian, curator and playwright Marie de Brugerolle, currently professor at the École Nationale des Beaux-Arts de Lyon, commenced researching Guy de Cointet’s oeuvre in the early 1990s. In October 2010, her monograph about Guy de Cointet will be published by JRP|Ringier. Her documentary film Who’s that Guy? … tell me more about Guy de Cointet will be released this fall. In this film, de Cointet’s friends and colleagues such as Paul McCarthy, Mike Kelley, Robert Wilhite, Richard Jackson, John Baldessari, Larry Bell, and Barbara Smith, remember the artist.
Iglu is a co-production of If I Can’t Dance, I Don’t Want To Be Part Of Your Revolution, Stedelijk Museum, Kunstverein and STUK arts centre. Special thanks to Frascati theatre, Guy de Cointet Estate and Air de Paris
Related events from co-producers:
Thursday 11 November 2010, 22.00 hrs
Friday 12 November 2010, 20.30 hrs
STUK arts centre, Naamsestraat 96, 3000, Leuven, Belgium
Tickets €10/€6, bookings: www.stuk.be
Exhibition: Paying A Visit to Mary Part 2
10 December 2010 – 30 January 2011
Kunstverein, Ruyschstraat 4 III, 1091 CB, Amsterdam