Words in the World

by Daniel Haim

Guy de Cointet. Five Sisters (1982, remake 2011). Light & sound: Eric Orr. Photo: Sal Kroonenberg. © If I Can’t Dance, Amsterdam. Courtesy Guy de Cointet Estate, Eric Orr Estate.

The Museum of Modern Art’s Performance Program will resume in April with Words in the World, a series of performances and programs that generate a “live” response to the possibilities opened by the relationship between performance and language. Words in the World looks at the intertwining of political, poetic, and linguistic structures through theatrical and staged events, dialogues and forms of public address, and experimental actions. Utilizing different presentation formats, the program takes place in various locations in the Museum. The Performance Program at The Museum of Modern Art is organized by Sabine Breitwieser, Chief Curator, and Ana Janevski, Associate Curator, Department of Media and Performance Art, The Museum of Modern Art.

Held in conjunction with the Museum’s exhibition Ecstatic Alphabets/Heaps of Language, on view from May 6 to August 27, 2012, Words in the World explores performative aspects of language as a means of perpetuating the flow and movement of thoughts and as a tool for political activism. In addition, the series reveals the life of words, signs, and numbers when liberated from their conventional forms and meanings.

The program will include Modern Mondays events with My Barbarian, Adam Pendleton and Lorraine O’Grady, and Andrea Geyer, Sharon Hayes, Ashley Hunt, Katya Sander, and David Thorne. These will be joined by a series of live performances: Countdown Performance (2007/12) by Nora Schultz with Ei Arakawa; Alphabet (2005/12) by Paulina Olowska; Five Sisters (1981/2011) and Espahor ledet ko Uluner! (1973/2011) by Guy de Cointet; and Combatant Status Review Tribunals, pp. 002954-003064: A Public Reading (2007) by Andrea Geyer, Sharon Hayes, Ashley Hunt, Katya Sander, and David Thorne.