On Friday 27 April at 8pm, If I Can’t Dance, I Don’t Want To Be Part Of Your Revolution presents the new staging of Five Sisters (1982) by Guy de Cointet as well as his short performance monologue Espahor ledet ko Uluner! performed by Jane Zingale, at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA).
Five Sisters premiered with If I Can’t Dance on 28 October 2011 at Frascati Theater in Amsterdam. Afterwards, the performance travelled to STUK kunstencentrum in Leuven, the museum MUSAC in León and the Museo Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid. Five Sisters now embarks on an American tour, and is presented at the LACMA in L.A on 27 April, and at the MoMA in New York on 9 and 10 May. Following the performances in the U.S. the play will tour in France in 2012.
Furthermore, in 2012 a publication on Five Sisters will be presented, that concentrates on the question of how to produce and present Five Sisters today. With contributions of a.o. Marie de Brugerolle, Elizabeth Orr, Vivian Ziherl and the cast. The design is by Will Holder.
Five Sisters is a play that embodies the West Coast culture of health and beauty. It presents the story of five Sisters, who busy themselves with the problems and pleasures of modern life on a Sunday afternoon. The California sun provokes their reactions, emotions and moods. With Five Sisters, de Cointet explored the affective wellbeing of five women who have changing, restless, encounters in their parental home, discussing issues of wardrobe, suntan, health, exotic holidays, work and painting (one of the sisters is an artist). The collage-like structure of the text, and the quick pace of the sisters’ meetings on stage all point to the influence of de Cointet’s hero Raymond Roussel, and to his love for the soap opera – a genre that was widely available to him in L.A.
Five Sisters is the last performance that was staged during Guy de Cointet’s lifetime and marks a departure from his earlier work in its attention to light as the main catalyst of emotion. Guy de Cointet collaborated with the sculptor Eric Orr (1939-1998) who created the lighting and set design and collaborated on the sound, and with the musician Joseph Hammer. In the new production, the light and sound plan is reconstructed by Orr’s daughter Elizabeth Orr.
Alongside the presentation of Five Sisters, Guy de Cointet’s monologue Espahor ledet ko Uluner! will be performed at LACMA and MoMa. Espahor ledet ko Uluner! is a short performance that departs from Guy de Cointet’s novel of the same name. The piece is a monologue that is acted out by Jane Zingale, one of de Cointet’s original actresses, and presents a succession of apparently everyday references, with different moods, in a language invented by the artist.
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. De Cointet’s performances are surreal sceneries in which ordinary, daily events are linked to specific objects, colours and letters – often in a lucid way, with elements from high and low culture, and absurdism and elegance existing alongside each other.
Performance in Residence
This staging of Five Sisters is the result of a research project conducted by art historian Marie de Brugerolle, as part of If I Can’t Dance’s programme Performance in Residence. With this programme, If I Can’t Dance aims to research performances as case studies and proposes to connect archival research to practice. If I Can’t Dance wants to offer researchers a context for in-depth study into performances that we consider important from an art historical perspective, as well as from the point of view of contemporary practice in performance. It differs from academic research in its intention to directly connect archival research to the practice of production and (re)creation.
Marie de Brugerolle
Art historian, curator and dramatist Marie de Brugerolle has introduced a wide audience to the work of Guy de Cointet. De Brugerolle is professor at the École Nationale des Beaux-Arts de Lyon. This year her monograph on de Cointet was published by JRP|Ringier. Her documentary film Who’s that Guy?… tell me more about Guy de Cointet also premiered this year. In this film, de Cointet’s friends and colleagues such as Paul McCarthy, Robert Wilhite, Richard Jackson, John Baldessari, Larry Bell and Barbara Smith remember the artist.
Concept play and text: Guy de Cointet
Light and stage design: Eric Orr
Director: Jane Zingale
Dramaturge: Marie de Brugerolle
Performers: Violeta Sanchez, Einat Tuchman, Adva Zakai, Veridiana Zurita
Light & sound: Elizabeth Orr
Curator: Frédérique Bergholtz
Curatorial assistant: Vivian Ziherl
Publication: If I Can’t Dance, design by Will Holder
Language: English spoken
The restaging of Five Sisters is a commission of If I Can’t Dance, I Don’t Want To Be Part Of Your Revolution and is a collaborative initiative of If I Can’t Dance in Amsterdam, STUK Kunstencentrum in Leuven and MUSAC in León. The restaging is financially supported by the Estate of Guy de Cointet, Étant Donnés, the Mondriaan Foundation, the Culture Programme of the European Union, and the Amsterdam Fund for the Arts. It is co-produced by If I Can’t Dance, Amsterdam; LACMA, Los Angeles; MUSAC, León; MoMA, New York; Reina Sofía, Madrid; and STUK, Leuven. With thanks to Yael Davids, Dora García, Eric Orr Estate, Frascati Theater and SMART Project Space.