Master Class with Trajal Harrell:

Maybe To Spectacle


© Photo: Virginia Harold

10/28 | 6 PM - 9 PM
The School of the Art Institute of Chicago
280 S Columbus Drive, Room 012, Chicago
Info and Registration

Trajal Harrell will conduct a seminar that is part lecture, part conversation and part moving together. Using video and photographs, Harrell will map the trajectory of his aesthetic history beginning with his work on voguing and early postmodern dance and moving on to his more recent work with butoh and modern dance. Short sections of some of the dances will be learned as theoretical examples. The class transforms freely between moving, seeing, and talking as interests and questions arise from being in the room together.

About the Artist

Trajal Harrell came to visibility with the Twenty Looks or Paris is Burning at The Judson Church series of works which asked, “What would have happened in 1963 if someone from the ball scene in Harlem had come downtown to perform alongside the early postmoderns at Judson Church?” Over the past two decades, Harrell has created a body of work that interrogates the cracks and fissures of history, drawing from the early postmodern and Japanese butoh dance traditions, kabuki theater, voguing balls, and runway movement. He recently completed a residency at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, focusing on the surreal and radical style of Tatsumi Hijikata—the founder of butoh, a form of Japanese modern dance that was especially popular in late twentieth-century. Harrell has presented his work in numerous American and International venues and festivals, such as The Kitchen, New York; The Museum of Modern Art, New York (MoMA); Performa Biennial; The New Museum, New York, the Barbican Centre Art Gallery, London, the Walker Art Center, Centre Pompidou Paris, and Panorama Festival Rio, Festival d’Avignon, Festival d’Automne in Paris, and Holland Festival.

The School of the Art Institute Chicago

At SAIC, we exceed boundaries. Our commitment to an open structure is embodied in a curriculum of self-directed study within and across a multiplicity of disciplines and approaches that promote critical thinking, rigorous investigation, and playful creativity. Through interdisciplinary practices and in deeply focused media, faculty and students conceive and accomplish exchanges in cultural study, production, and research with artists and scholars around the world. We are a community that challenges the notion that any field is ever beyond rediscovery.

The School of the Art Institute of Chicago's (SAIC) Department of Performance was founded in an experimental spirit and is unique in the United States as one of the only contemporary performance departments in an art school at the undergraduate and graduate level focused on performance practice and performance studies.