The Portal

Trisha Brown Moving-Image Installation

Charles Atlas and Cori Olinghouse, Trisha Brown Moving-Image Installation (2018). Photograph by Cori Olinghouse.

From her solo and duet performances at Judson Memorial Church to the ensemble choreographies she made upon founding her own company in 1970, Trisha Brown's (American, 1936–2017) half-century-long career was characterized by sensuousness, analytical structure, and a feeling akin to flying. For this presentation, documentation of her work is organized into an installation designed by artist Charles Atlas in collaboration with Cori Olinghouse, the former archive director of the Trisha Brown Dance Company and director of The Portal. The installation focuses on the period from Brown’s 1966 Homemade—in which she straps a projector onto her back, throwing a film onto the wall, floor, and ceiling in synchronization with her live performance—to a demonstration of phrase material from her 1979 Glacial Decoy, her first of several large-scale theatrical works. Moving images featured prominently in Brown’s work; she used video as a preparatory tool for her choreography and collaborated with filmmakers such as Babette Mangolte, Elaine Summers, Robert Whitman, and Jud Yalkut. The installation traverses Brown’s early practice, placing her highly organized Accumulation dances—in which simple gestures accrue through repeated iterations—in relation to the physical abandon she displays in Water Motor (1978), a work Brown described as “unpredictable, personal, articulate, dense, changeful, wild assed.”

Film credits:

Homemade (1966)
Skunk Cabbage, Salt Grass and Waders
(1968) performed in 2009
Man Walking Down the Side of a Building
Walking on the Wall
Primary Accumulation
(1972), performed in 1974
Group Primary Accumulation
(1973) performed in 1987
Group Primary Accumulation with Movers
(1973) performed in 1974
Spanish Dance
(1973) performed in 1979
Lecture with choreography from Locus (1975) performed c. 1978
Water Motor
Lecture including preparatory choreography from Glacial Decoy (1979) c. 1978