Adam Linder: Full Service (installation view), 2018, Wattis Institute; Choreographic Service No.2: Some Proximity, 2014, Duration variable, Two dancers: Enrico Ticconi and Adam Linder; photo: Allie Foraker

CCA Wattis to present works by Adam Linder for 20th anniversary

This major survey exhibition of Australian artist, dancer, and choreographer Adam Linder will offer five choreographic works performed all day, every day, during Wattis gallery hours.

San Francisco, CA—The Wattis Institute launches its 20th anniversary year with the exhibition Adam Linder: Full Service, a survey exhibition of five choreographic works by Adam Linder (b. 1983, Sydney, Australia; lives and works in Los Angeles). The exhibition is on view at the Wattis Institute from September 8 through September 29, 2018, with performances taking place all day, every day, during open hours. A precise schedule appears below. The opening reception is Saturday, September 8, 2018, from 6:30 to 8:30pm.

Linder, a classically trained dancer, has performed with the Royal Ballet in London, the Michael Clark Company, and Meg Stuart’s Damaged Goods, among others. He has conceived works for the stage, such as Kein Paradiso, which earned him the prestigious $100,000 Mohn Award at the Hammer Museum’s Made in L.A. biennial exhibition in 2016.

Alongside his stage works, Linder has developed a parallel practice, which he calls Choreographic Services, designed and conceived for working with choreography outside of the theater context, mostly in galleries. In these Choreographic Services, Linder’s material is the body, or perhaps more precisely: that body’s labor. They are a reflection on performance in relation to service-based economies. While none of these works are for sale, they still involve a transaction, with each hosting institution signing a contract that outlines the relationship between the performers (the dancers), the service they provide (the dance), and the cost of their labor (the dancing). The host “hires” the service and pays an hourly wage for it.

To provide a comprehensive overview of Linder’s singular approach to dance and performance, the Wattis Institute has hired all five Choreographic Services, and presents each one over the course of three weeks, across two galleries. Each service, described below, is performed successively, but they also overlap and reappear in different combinations, creating new hybrids and juxtapositions of bodies and movements:

  • Some Cleaning (2013) – A single performer choreographically cleans a gallery space (or any given location). While not in fact using any cleaning materials but wearing blue overalls, the body interprets the relevant gestures and motions, making them into a mimetic dance.
  • Some Proximity (2014) – In this service, a hired art critic visits exhibitions and makes critical observations and notes on what he or she sees. These written impressions are then choreographically interpreted through the voices and movements of two hired dancers. Pages from the critic’s notebook are pinned to the wall and accumulate over the hours and days of the service, allowing layers of written and bodily interpretations to evolve and overlap in the space.
  • Some Riding (2015) – Linder commissioned two writers, Catherine Damman and Sarah Lehrer-Graiwer, to compose essays about choreographic embodiment and economies of performance. Two performers can be hired to read and activate both texts, expanding upon the theoretical framework behind all his services, riding the cadence of text with dancerly punctuation.
  • Some Strands of Support (2016) – Two dancers can be hired to perform haircare on a suitably upright object, sculpture, or statue. Wearing headwear and gloves attached with human hair, each performer engages in a ritualistic process of caressing and care-taking of a single object/prop in the gallery space, making the monumental capitulate to the sensual.
  • Dare to Keep Kids Off Naturalism (2017) – The fifth and most ambitious Choreographic Service features four performers who use elaborate costumes with modular forms to create, over the course of five hours each day, ever-changing ornamental, fictional or dramatic scenarios that rethink the relationship between their theatrical sensibility and the exhibition space.

Other artists working at the crossroads of dance, performance, and contemporary art, such as Tino Sehgal or Jérôme Bel, are often interested in removing theatricality from performance, and instruction-based choreographic pieces allow for different trained and untrained performers, and even members of the public, to embody the work. Linder, on the other hand, insists on maintaining a sense of expressive play within the museum context; he only works with a specific group of performers, each of whom are trained and chosen for their specific skills, styles, and memories their bodies accumulate over the course of their collaborations. The current performers include Josh Johnson, Leah Katz, Justin F. Kennedy, Adam Linder, Noha Ramadan, Brooke Stamp, Enrico Ticcioni, and Stephen Thompson. The art critics for Some Proximity are Michele Carlson and Jonathan P. Watts. Past performers have included Frances Chiaverini and Andrew Hardwidge.

Adam Linder: Full Service is a highly unconventional and experimental project. The exhibition galleries are kept mostly empty, and rather than the project determining the budget, the budget determines the duration of the project. Working with a fixed budget, the exhibition remains on view until the funds to pay for the services have run out. The five contracts are also on view, along with a newly produced display mechanism by Shahryar Nashat.

This exhibition is curated by Anthony Huberman and organized with Leila Grothe. It is made possible thanks to support from the VIA Art Fund, as well as the Wattis Institute’s Leadership Circle and Curator’s Forum. Special thanks to Kater Gordon and Soleio Cuervo, KADIST, Hannah Hoffman, Shahryar Nashat, and Andrea Niederbuchner.

Performance Schedule:

September 8, 6:30 – 8:30pm (opening reception)

  • Some Cleaning (2013)
  • Some Proximity (2014)
  • Some Riding (2015)

September 11, 12 – 6pm

  • Some Cleaning
  • Some Proximity
  • Some Riding

September 12, 12 – 6pm

  • Some Cleaning
  • Some Proximity

September 13, 12 – 6pm

  • Some Cleaning
  • Some Proximity
  • Some Riding

September 14, 12 – 6pm

  • Some Proximity
  • Some Riding

September 15, 12 – 6pm

  • Some Cleaning
  • Some Proximity
  • Some Riding

September 18 – 22, 12 – 6pm

  • Some Strands of Support (2016)
  • Some Proximity

September 25 – 28, 12 – 6pm

  • Dare to Keep Kids Off Naturalism (2017)

September 29, 12 – 6pm

  • Dare to Keep Kids Off Naturalism
  • Some Cleaning

About the Artist

Adam Linder (b. 1983, Sydney, Australia) is a choreographer and dancer based in Los Angeles. He makes works for the theater and provides Choreographic Services. In 2016, Linder was awarded the Mohn Award for artistic excellence in the Hammer Museum’s Made in L.A. Biennial. Linder also participated in the 2016 Biennale of Sydney and the 2016 Liverpool Biennial. Recent solo or two person shows have included South London Gallery, London (2018), Kunsthalle Basel (2017), the Schinkel Pavillon, Berlin (2016), and the Institute of Contemporary Art, London (2015). Additionally, his works have been commissioned, presented, and hired by HAU Hebbel-am-Ufer Theatre Berlin, Serralves Museum Porto, Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles, Museum of Modern Art Warsaw, and 356 Mission Rd. Los Angeles, among many others. A monograph, Adam Linder: Who is Surfing Who, was published by the Hammer Museum in 2018.

About CCA Wattis Institute of Contemporary Arts

Founded in 1998 at California College of the Arts in San Francisco and located a few blocks from its campus, CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts is a nonprofit exhibition venue and research institute dedicated to contemporary art and ideas. As an exhibition space, it commissions and shows new work by emerging and established artists from around the world. Recent solo exhibitions include Kum Lum: What’s Old is Old for a Dog; Henrik Olesen: The Walk; Melanie Gilligan: Parts-wholes; Howard Fried: Derelicts; Laura Owens: Ten Paintings; Jos de Gruyter & Harald Thys: Tram 3 (which traveled to MoMA PS1); Josephine Pryde: Lapses in Thinking by the Person I Am (which traveled to ICA Philadelphia and earned Pryde a 2016 Turner Prize nomination); K.r.m. Mooney: En, set; Sam Lewitt: More Heat Than Light (which traveled to Kunsthalle Basel and the Swiss Institute, New York); and Ellen Cantor: Cinderella Syndrome (which traveled to Künstlerhaus Stuttgart). A recent group exhibition, Mechanisms, travels to Secession in Vienna in an expanded form entitled Other Mechanisms.

As a research institute, the Wattis dedicates an entire year to reflect on the work of a single artist, which informs a regular series of public programs and publications involving the field’s most prominent artists and thinkers. The 2018–2019 season is dedicated to the writer Dodie Bellamy; past seasons featured Joan Jonas, Andrea Fraser, David Hammons, and Seth Price.

The Wattis also hosts an annual Capp Street Artist-in-Residence, one of the earliest and longest-running artist-in-residence programs in the country, founded in 1983 by Ann Hatch, as Capp Street Project, and incorporated into the Wattis Institute in 1998. Each year, an artist comes to live and work in San Francisco for a semester, teaches a graduate seminar at CCA, and presents an exhibition. Recent participants include contemptorary (2017-2018), Melanie Gilligan (2016-2017), Carissa Rodriguez (2015-2016), Nairy Baghramian (2014-2015), Claire Fontaine (2013-2014), Ryan Gander (2012-2013), Harrell Fletcher and Kris Martin (2011-2012), Paulina Olowska and Renata Lucas (2010-2011), and Abraham Cruzvillegas (2009-2010).

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2018 marks the organization’s 20th year. A celebration is planned for November 2018.

CCA Wattis is also an invaluable resource for California College of the Arts students, including those within the school’s renowned Curatorial Practice program (CURP). Providing students with a deep understanding of art, artists, galleries, and museums in order to empower their work in the art world, the CURP program culminates in students organizing, curating, and promoting an exhibition at the Wattis.

About California College of the Arts

Founded in 1907, California College of the Arts (CCA) educates students to shape culture and society through the practice and critical study of art, architecture, design, and writing. Benefiting from its San Francisco Bay Area location and faculty of expert practitioners, the college prepares students for lifelong creative work by cultivating innovation, community engagement, and social and environmental responsibility. Graduates are highly sought-after by the world’s leading companies, architecture and design firms, cultural and arts organizations, and more. CCA is creating a new, expanded college campus at its current site in San Francisco, spearheaded by the award-winning architectural firm Studio Gang, and will provide more student housing than ever before.

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David Owens-Hill

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