Isabel Lewis will speak on her approach to dance and choreography with the agentic power of “doing” and not merely “representing” and on composition as a public expression of care. She will discuss different presentation formats using examples from her past and present work to expand upon performance and choreography as experienced beyond the concert stage and the white cube. Reflecting on notions like Carolyn Dinshaw’s “queerness of time” and Roslyn Bologh’s “erotic sociability” she will also introduce her ideas about extended dramaturgies in heterotopic spaces, the choreography of inner states, and her interest in extending the zone of play and composition from the body of the performers to the bodies’ of the individuals comprising the public as well as the collective body formed by a gathered public. Through the composition of spatial and temporal assemblages of human and nonhuman agents Lewis works on the aesthetics of the experiential to create spaces of sociable encounter that offer the opportunity for bodily attunement to one’s environment.
Isabel Lewis is a Berlin-based artist born in the Dominican Republic and raised on a man-made island off the coast of southwest Florida. Before relocating to Berlin in 2009, she lived in New York City for several years where she danced for many choreographers showed her own commissioned works at The Kitchen, Dance Theater Workshop, New Museum, and Movement Research at Judson Church, Dancespace Project at St. Marks Church, PS 122 and Dia Foundation. Trained in literary criticism, dance, and philosophy her work takes on many different formats from lecture performances to workshops, music sessions, parties, hosted occasions, and large scale artistic/programmatic works like the Institute for Embodied Creative Practices and large scale activations of public space as in her work Urban Flourishing 2018 for Basel’s Messeplatz and Untitled (juice, inwardness, natures) 2019 for the Sharjah Biennial. Her work has been presented at Centre d'Art Contemporain Genève, Kunsthalle Basel, Frieze London, Liverpool Biennial, the Institute of Contemporary Arts London (ICA), Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo Turin, Tanz Im August Berlin, Göteborg International Biennial for Contemporary Art, Palais de Tokyo, Tate Modern London, and Ming Contemporary Art Museum Shanghai. Lewis has created works around such topics as open source technology and dance improvisation, social dances as cultural storage systems (Mountain Grass, Mountain Hare: bodily imprinting and social dances,2012), collaborative creative formats (Communal EPIC Fiction, 2010), future bodily techniques (BALLISTIC BODY, 2011), and rapping as an embodied speech act (FLOW PLAY: Sensualized Speech and Hip Hop, 2013) that have been presented at Serpentine Galleries, Kampnagel, and Hebbel Am Ufer amongst others.