Brendan Fernandes: The Working Move (2012/2014)
18 Apr 2014

Schiphol Lounge, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam
1 - 5 pm
Entrance price to the Stedelijk Museum

Ungoing. It's not necessary to make a reservation. 

Brendan Fernandes, The Working Move, 2012/2014, courtesy of the artist.
Brendan Fernandes, The Working Move, 2012/2014, courtesy of the artist.

The Stedelijk Museum presents The Working Move, a performance by artist Brendan Fernandes (co-choreographed by Justine Chambers). This new installment of The Working Move is developed especially for the entrance space of the Stedelijk, and is part of the performance and lecture series Stage It! (Part 3): SCRIPTED.

The Working Move is inspired by ballet movement vocabularies that relate to labor and endurance, and informed by the histories of avant-garde dance and its relationship to visual art. In the work, movements are constructed to depict dancers interacting directly with a collection of plinths and pedestals. These minimalist structures serve alternately as a set, a supportive prop, or an unwieldy burden. The dancers will dance and move with these apparatuses that display museum "artifacts" (plinths, pedestals, hooks, stands), turning their bodies into a stand-in for the "artifact."

The live performance is set within the context of a rehearsal where dancers perform while taking instruction from a director regarding how to make the movements. Then the sequence of the dance is interrupted; the dancers will stop and restart as the director leads and creates the dance.

The movements of the dancers and their relationship with the objects that surround them are imagined through a script, composed by the artist for the director. However, this script may imagine the dancers’ movements, it does not condition them. The Working Move is a continuous rehearsal, in which the instructions from the director, the script, and the improvised movements of the dancers’ bodies are equally important for the formation of a work that never fully takes shape. In this work, Fernandes not only reconsiders the position of a performer’s body in the museum, but also challenges the notion of performance as a scripted, and possibly spectacular, event.

More information about the artist

Born in Kenya of Indian descent, Brendan Fernandes immigrated to Canada in 1989. He completed the Independent Study Program of the Whitney Museum of American Art (2007) and earned his MFA (2005) from The University of Western Ontario and his BFA (2002) from York University in Canada. He has exhibited internationally and nationally, including exhibitions at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Museum of Art and Design New York, Art in General, the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal, the National Gallery of Canada, the Art Gallery of Hamilton, The Studio Museum in Harlem, Mass MoCA, The Andy Warhol Museum, the Art Gallery of York University, Deutsche Guggenheim, the Bergen Kunsthall, Manif d’Art: The Quebec City Biennial, the Third Guangzhou Triennial, and the Western New York Biennial through the Albright-Knox Art Gallery. Fernandes was a finalist for the Sobey Art Award, Canada’s preeminent award for contemporary art (2010), and was on the longlist for the 2013 prize. He was recently awarded a Robert Rauschenberg Residency Fellowship. Fernandes is based in Toronto and New York.