On October 26 from 6-7pm, Visionaire presents a performance directed by Matthew Placek by renowned Butoh dancer Vangeline in Daniel Arsham’s Lunar Garden at the Gallery at Cadillac House, 330 Hudson Street, New York City. Butoh, a style of dance also known as ankoku butoh (“the dance of utter darkness”), originated in Japan when founders Tatsumi Hijikata and Kazuo Ohno searched for a visual and physical medium they’d never experienced before. The dance-style is slow and often performed by white painted dancers in a dimly lit and empty stage. Vangeline has mastered the technique and will be moving across the raked, moonlit garden in an haute couture gown while viewers are invited to experience the zen that both Arsham’s installation and Vangeline’s elegant movements induce. The event is free and open to the public.
Vangeline, PERFORMER: she is a teacher, dancer, and choreographer specializing in the Japanese postwar avant-garde movement form Butoh. She is the Artistic Director of the Vangeline Theater (New York), a dance company firmly rooted in the tradition of Japanese Butoh while carrying it into the 21st century, and the founder of the New York Butoh Institute. Vangeline’s work has been heralded in publications such as the New York Times (“captivating”), Los Angeles Times, (“moves with the clockwork deliberation of a practiced Japanese Butoh artist”) and LA Weekly to name a few. Time OUT Chicago named Vangeline’s, “one of the best Dance Visits of 2011.” More recently her BUTOH BEEETHOVEN: Eclipse received critical acclaim in New York and was dubbed:‘incredibly moving and powerful. It is clear that Vangeline is an artist who knows the darkness of Butoh well, and has the incredible skill to make that darkness dance…Vangeline has the control and poise of a true master of Butoh.”
Matthew placek, DIRECTOR: his diverse practice, which includes photography, video and digital art explores the psychological concerns of the random encounter and probes the body’s ability to remember. Using his camera often engaged with a human subject (visible or invisible), placek makes visible the uncertainty and doubt that we all carry in an age of instant replays and digital capture. What does remembering mean and how does the body remember? Placek’s fascination with this subject derives from watching his grandmother succumb to alzheimer’s. In his last meeting with her, he was struck by her lack of recall, a traumatic experience, which led to Placek’s early forays into photography. The discipline of photography was the underpinning of his artistic evolution. Now, Placek engages with immortalizing his relationships and experiences through various forms of documentation.
DANIEL ARSHAM, ARTIST he re-imagines The Gallery at Cadillac House as a “Lunar Garden” combining sculpture, sound, and an immersive environment that offers visitors a re-interpretation of a traditional Japanese rock garden with a unique colored gradient. At one end of the space is a 9 foot diameter light orb which resembles the moon. The design in the sand garden is further enhanced by the single light source. In Arsham’s version of the traditional garden, rocks have been replaced by a petrified tree and lantern. Arsham’s use of gradient pink is a significant departure from his earlier work, which relies on a palette of black, white and gray tones. Arsham is colorblind but has recently been able to see a broader, more vibrant spectrum of color by using special glasses. This vibrancy has translated into his work and marks an important new visual language in this exhibition. “We’re excited to share Daniel Arsham’s vision with a new audience,” says Cecilia Dean, curator of The Gallery at Cadillac House along with her Visionaire partner James Kaliardos who adds, “And we hope it will offer a moment of calm and contemplation.”