Enacting Stillness

September 21, 2016 through January 13, 2017 


Bruce Nauman, Dance or Exercise on the Perimeter of a Square (Square Dance), 1967-68. Courtesy Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI), New York.

Enacting Stillness is an exhibition that considers the political potential of slowing down and stopping as forms of resistance, protest, and refusal. An international group of artists in the exhibition engage in practices that challenge and upend our expectations for the continuity of performative compositions, lines of movement, and thought. Working with the disciplines of choreography, theater, moving image, sculpture and performance, the exhibition presents a multivalent reflection on political histories from the Americas to Europe and Asia, with projects that employ a range of gestures and time-based practices to question what unexpected ruptures like meditation, contemplation, rest, and the reversing of movement and time might mean to both the artist and the viewer. The exhibition will be on view September 21, 2016 to January 13, 2017 at The 8th Floor, the exhibition and programming space for The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation, located at 17 West 17th Street, New York City.

Enacting Stillness features artists John Ahearn, Rehan Ansari, Nicolás Dumit Estévez, Brendan Fernandes, Alicia Grullón, Yoko Inoue, Joan Jonas, Claudia Joskowicz, Kirsten Justesen, Kimsooja, Carlos Martiel, Bruce Nauman, Clifford Owens, Kameelah Janan Rasheed, Emily Roysdon, and Roman Štětina. Together, the artists in this exhibition reveal the parallel connections between art and political engagement, between stillness and activation. Each of the artists works with an economy of means to test the limits of performance – for the performer, the viewer, and the participant – provoking us to question how our own positions, whether still or in motion, connect to larger social and political concerns.

Press Release