While Landis Green may look more like ghost town during the summer months, inside Montgomery Hall MANCC will host a full schedule of artist residencies. Among them is internationally recognized choreographer, Jeanine Durning, who first came to MANCC in 2008 as a performer with lauded post-modern choreographer, Deborah Hay. As a choreographer in her own right, Durning will return to MANCC for the second, in a series of three residencies, to develop her solo: dark matter, selfish portrait.
Continuing with her ongoing solo practice of “nonstopping,” Durning questions whether the self can observe itself or if the self is only manifested by being observed by another. Her questions include: How is the individual performed in society? What is the individual’s purpose or place in the universe? What is the role of the solo performer when witnessed by an audience? Is solo performance an oxymoron? What selves are we performing when witnessed by another? Can individuals ever really have a “personal” narrative, or is it always part of a collection of narratives? How does the consumption and velocity of global information affect the concept of the self, as a concept of Western culture, and how do notions of the social (socialism, globalism, pluralism, multiculturalism) represent a loss of power in American ideologies?
Durning draws inspiration from William James’ philosophy of radical empiricism, which emphasizes the role of a subjects’ experience in defining reality, and the work of Samuel Beckett, which probes the individual’s search for meaning and radically explores the gulf between our desires and the language we use to express them.
Durning returns to MANCC in June 2018 to continue her work on dark matter, selfish portrait. This multi-residency support is made possible through The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, which allows artists to more thoroughly research their ideas in multiple phases.