New York, NY – Dia Art Foundation has commissioned artist Isabel Lewis to realize her signature occasions over four consecutive weekends between Friday, June 24, and Sunday, July 17, 2016. Lewis’s occasions will be hosted on Friday evenings at Dia:Chelsea in New York City and will continue to unfold on Saturday and Sunday afternoons at Scenic Hudson’s Long Dock Park located adjacent to Dia:Beacon in Beacon, New York.
“Isabel Lewis’s occasions create an experience that activates a broad range of senses,” said Jessica Morgan, Director, Dia Art Foundation. “Sound, dance, performance, and, in particular, durational work have always been part of Dia’s vision. Like previous commissions, this program is ambitious in both its scale and scope and requires a significant commitment of time and space. We are thrilled to work with Lewis to realize this commission across two sites that offer different temporalities and surroundings.”
Lewis’s work takes the form of social occasions that mark their own space between the formats of the exhibition and the theater. Conjuring at times the DJ set, lecture, party, and philosophical salon, her occasions engage the entire human sensorium. As host, Lewis’s dramaturgy is specific to the site, the guests, and their energies, encompassing dance, food, music, scent, and spoken address. All of the occasions offer an open duration, during which guests may freely enter, exit, and revisit.
For her Dia commission, Lewis invites audiences to engage in a weekend-long experience. The Friday evening occasions will occur at Dia:Chelsea in an industrial building located at 541 West 22nd Street in New York City. Lewis will create a decorated environment with furniture, plants, and floral arrangements. The artist will also address the olfactory sense through a collaboration with Norwegian chemist and smell researcher Sissel Tolaas. On these Friday evenings, sensuous-and-slow dance and music will take cues from contemporary partner dance, which originated in Lusophone Africa.
The weekend continues on Saturdays and Sundays at Scenic Hudson’s Long Dock Park in Beacon, New York. Lewis’s composition at the outdoor site will engage the local ecology. Visitors are welcome to join Lewis for conversation, dancing, listening, or simply gathering together in this setting at any point during the afternoon.
Dia’s occasions and other occurrences, hosted by Isabel Lewis, are curated by Kelly Kivland, Associate Curator, Dia Art Foundation.
Since its inception, Dia has championed an institutional commitment to supporting, commissioning, and presenting new works and retrospective projects in dance, music, sound, and theater. Dia’s past programs have explored a wide landscape of performances, including the recent installation of La Monte Young, Marian Zazeela, and Jung Hee Choi’sDia 15 VI 13 545 West 22 Street Dream House at Dia:Chelsea and iconic performances from artists including Trisha Brown, Tony Conrad, Merce Cunningham, Joan Jonas with Jason Moran, Matmos, Steve Paxton, Yvonne Rainer, and Robert Whitman.
Friday, June 24, doors open at 6 pm: Dia:Chelsea, New York City
Saturday, June 25, 12–5 pm: Scenic Hudson’s Long Dock Park, Beacon, New York
Sunday, June 26, 12–5 pm: Scenic Hudson’s Long Dock Park, Beacon, New York
Friday, July 1, doors open at 6 pm: Dia:Chelsea, New York City
Saturday, July 2, 12–5 pm: Scenic Hudson’s Long Dock Park, Beacon, New York
Sunday, July 3, 12–5 pm: Scenic Hudson’s Long Dock Park, Beacon, New York
Friday, July 8, doors open at 6 pm: Dia:Chelsea, New York City
Saturday, July 9, 12–5 pm: Scenic Hudson’s Long Dock Park, Beacon, New York
Sunday, July 10, 12–5 pm: Scenic Hudson’s Long Dock Park, Beacon, New York
Friday, July 15, doors open at 6 pm: Dia:Chelsea, New York City
Saturday, July 16, 12–5 pm: Scenic Hudson’s Long Dock Park, Beacon, New York
Sunday, July 17, 12–5 pm: Scenic Hudson’s Long Dock Park, Beacon, New York
For more information and reservations, visit www.diaart.org/isabellewis. Reservations will be accepted starting May 23, 2016.
Isabel Lewis is of Dominican and American origin and was raised in southwestern Florida. From 2004 to 2009 she lived in New York City and presented commissioned dance work at the Dance Theater Workshop, Danspace Project at St. Mark’s Church, Kitchen, Movement Research at Judson Church, New Museum of Contemporary Art, and Performance Space 122. In 2009 she moved to Berlin and began to explore a practice that negotiates different genres and contexts. Drawing from her background in choreography and literary criticism, Lewis uses the occasions to investigate both the role of the artist and the role of the host. Occasions have been presented by the Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève, Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin, Frieze London, Göteborg International Biennial for Contemporary Art, Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, Kunsthalle Basel, Liverpool Biennial, and Tanz im August, Berlin.
This program is supported in part by Dia’s Director’s Council and the New York State Council on the Arts, a State agency.
Dia Art Foundation
Founded in 1974, Dia Art Foundation is committed to initiating, supporting, presenting, and preserving extraordinary art projects. Dia:Beacon opened in May 2003 in Beacon, New York. Dia also maintains several long-term sites, including Walter De Maria’s The New York Earth Room (1977) and The Broken Kilometer (1979), Max Neuhaus’s Times Square(1977), Joseph Beuys’s 7000 Eichen (7000 Oaks, which was inaugurated at Documenta 7 in 1982), and Dan Flavin’s untitled (1996), all of which are located in New York City; the Dan Flavin Art Institute (established in 1983) in Bridgehampton, New York; De Maria’s The Lightning Field (1977) in western New Mexico; Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty (1970) in Great Salt Lake, Utah; and De Maria’s The Vertical Earth Kilometer (1977) in Kassel, Germany.
Dia currently presents temporary exhibitions and installations, performances, lectures, and readings on West 22nd Street in New York City.