Dia Art Foundation to Present THAT’S IT!, the First Live Commission by Joëlle Tuerlinckx to Take Place in the United States

For Immediate Release
August 30, 2018

Dia Art Foundation to Present THAT’S IT!, the First Live Commission by Joëlle Tuerlinckx to Take Place in the United States

Performances Will Occur Daily at Dia:Beacon from September 24 to 30, 2018

New York, NY – In September 2018, Joëlle Tuerlinckx (b. 1958, Brussels) will present her first live commission in the United States: THAT’S IT!. For more than twenty years, the artist has been widely known for her complex installations that combine materials from her personal archive, such as drawings, music, objects, photographs, and projections. Her site-specific practice often focuses on the interior architecture of museums and the variable situations that they present to the visitor. Out of the staging of these immersive settings, Tuerlinckx has more recently developed a body of work rooted in live choreography and sound, which furthers her interest in exploring the experiential boundaries of what it means to inhabit the museum.

Taking place over the course of one week, THAT’S IT! will feature different events each day that respond to Dia’s collection and the architecture of Dia:Beacon. Tuerlinckx’s commission for Dia proposes a comprehensive “museum choreography”—an ambitious performance engaging multiple collaborators and live elements in several gallery and outdoor spaces at Dia:Beacon. For the series of events, Tuerlinckx and her regular actors will perform different scenes each day that will take place in and around Dia:Beacon. She has also invited several groups from the Hudson Valley including firefighters, youth softball players, and a high school marching band to enact specific choreographies that traverse the galleries. The events will be set to a live score composed and performed by Christoph Fink and Valentijn Goethals on mobile platforms, which will move through the museum. The entire performance will be filmed in real time, extending and evolving the encounter between artwork, museum, and spectator. Dia will present the resulting feature-length film in the coming years.

“Dia has a rich history of supporting ambitious performance work so we are thrilled to be presenting Joëlle Tuerlinckx’s very first live commission in the United States. Tuerlinckx has worked extensively with Dia’s curatorial team and with our local Hudson Valley community over the course of three years to realize this piece,” said Jessica Morgan, Dia’s Nathalie de Gunzburg Director. “THAT’S IT! offers an intriguing examination of the relationship between institution, artwork, and community. This commission is particularly significant in that it represents an important development in Tuerlinckx’s career as she expands her investigations into durational practice.”

Tuerlinckx’s Dia commission evolves from her interest in walking, a recurring subject in her practice that can be traced to 1995, when she began an ongoing collection of drawings titled Theory of Walking. For her breakthrough 2002 exhibition at Documenta 11 in Kassel, Germany, Tuerlinckx’s Segment de Marche (Walking Segment) featured a strip of white tape inscribing the length of twenty-two “museum steps,” a measurement that visualized and manifested the movement of a viewer as they engaged with the work. What she has termed “exhibition moments” similarly record that which happens to a work of art after it has left the confines of the studio and entered the domain of the museum. Pursuing sensations rather than representations, Tuerlinckx creates opportunities for personal interactions between the staff and visitors within a museum, while highlighting our engagement with the architecture and artwork. In these spaces, visitor presence and behavior become imprinted onto the work by virtue of their coexistence and random incident. 

Over the past three years, the artist has spent many weeks at Dia:Beacon. Inspired by the museum’s vast galleries and unique setting in a former Nabisco box factory, Tuerlinckx has resolved to highlight the ordinary scenes that take place in its rooms, akin to a report on the institution’s daily activity. Although the performers of THAT’S IT! seem to tell a linear story—starting on a Monday and ending on a Sunday—the sprawling space of the museum disrupts the narrative as much as it shapes it. In this sense, the museum is conceived as both context and agent.

THAT’S IT! is a performance, THAT’S IT! is a film, THAT’S IT! is a filmed performance. From on-to off-screen, walking to posing, pausing to moving, it is an encounter between actors and visitors, a confusion of roles, an inversion of subjectivities, something that happens between the gallery attendant and the work, between the work and the onlooker. THAT’S IT! is a symphony, a filmed museum choreography, THAT’S IT! is a ‘unique language halfway between gesture and thought’ (Antonin Artaud), THAT’S IT! signifies that ‘I only know what I see when I am working’ (Alberto Giacometti), THAT’S IT! is a sentence that one reads again and again but keeps forgetting, it means that ‘I am not interested in erecting a building, but in . . . presenting to myself the foundations of all possible buildings’ (Ludwig Wittgenstein),” stated Joëlle Tuerlinckx.

Joelle Tuerlinckx: THAT’S IT! is made possible by support from Dia’s Director’s Council: Fady Jameel, Leslie and Mac McQuown, Alice and Tom Tisch, and Sara and Evan Williams. Additional support is provided by Fundación Almine y Bernard Ruiz-Picasso para el Arte, James Keith Brown and Eric Diefenbach, Galerie nächst St. Stephan, Galerie Nagel Draxler GbR, Liliane Salama, and David Schwartz Foundation, Inc.

Performance Details

Monday, September 24, 2018, 11 am–6 pm
Tuesday, September 25, 2018, 1:30–4 pm (museum is closed; reservations required)
Wednesday, September 26, 2018, 1:30–4 pm (museum is closed; reservations required)
Thursday, September 27, 2018, 11 am–6 pm
Friday, September 28, 2018,  11 am–6 pm
Saturday, September 29, 2018, 11 am–5 pm
Sunday, September 30, 2018, 11 am–6pm 

Joëlle Tuerlinckx
Joëlle Tuerlinckx was born in Brussels in 1958. She has exhibited and shown internationally, most recently with a solo exhibition at Centre international d’art et du paysage, Vassivière, and LLS Paleis, Antwerp, in 2018. Tuerlinckx was the subject of a traveling three-part retrospective presented at Arnolfini in Bristol (2013), Haus der Kunst in Munich (2013), and Wiels Contemporary Art Centre in Brussels (2012). She has also exhibited at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid (2009), Musée d’art modern et contemporain, Geneva (2007), Drawing Center, New York (2006), Power Plant, Toronto (2005), Ausstellungshalle Münster (2005), Renaissance Society, Chicago (2003), South London Gallery (2002), Bonnefantenmuseum, Maastricht (2001), Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst, Ghent (1999), and Witte de With, Rotterdam (1994). Tuerlinckx’s first performance work, «THAT’S IT!» (+3 FREE minutes) (2014) was presented at Tate Modern in London(2014), before it traveled to Het VeemTheater in Amsterdam, Playground Festival in Leuven, Belgium, and Kaaitheater in Brussels. She lives and works in Brussels.

Taking its name from the Greek word meaning “through,” Dia was established in 1974 with the mission to serve as a conduit for artists to realize ambitious new projects, unmediated by overt interpretation and uncurbed by the limitations of more traditional museums and galleries. Dia’s programming fosters contemplative and sustained consideration of a single artist’s body of work and its collection is distinguished by the deep and longstanding relationships the nonprofit has cultivated with artists whose work came to prominence particularly in the 1960s and 1970s. 

In addition to Dia:Beacon and Dia:Chelsea, Dia maintains and operates a constellation of commissions, long-term installations, site-specific projects, and Land art, nationally and internationally. These include:

  • Walter De Maria’s The New York Earth Room (1977) and The Broken Kilometer (1979), Max Neuhaus’s Times Square (1977), and Joseph Beuys’s 7000 Eichen (7000 Oaks, which was inaugurated at Documenta in 1982), 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
  • Nancy Holt’s Sun Tunnels (1973–76) in Great Basin Desert, Utah
  • De Maria’s The Vertical Earth Kilometer (1977) in Kassel, Germany

As part of a strategic and comprehensive plan to further advance its mission, program, and ongoing operations, Dia will be upgrading and expanding its principal programming spaces of Dia:Chelsea, Dia:SoHo, and Dia:Beacon.

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For additional information or materials, contact: Hannah Gompertz, Dia Art Foundation, 212 293 5598 or hgompertz@diaart.org

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