The Happening: Kinesics as Art Object
April 14 - May 30, 2009
In the early 1950s, Ray Birdwhistell—a dancer turned anthropologist—termed Kinesics, the study of the way people communicate through posture, gesture, stance, and movement. Media technologies such as film and photography were employed to document, analyze and outline varying levels of communication. Paralleling the birth of the science of expression was an unprecedented cultural awareness of the body’s ability to transform creative production away from the tangible and toward a multi-sensory experience. Pioneered by John Cage, Allan Kaprow and others who sought to highlight the gesture as art form, Happenings—or performances, events or situations—prevailed as an improvisational art form that challenged traditional modes of perception and highlighted body language as a nuanced tool of not only expression but also liberation.
The work of Keith Anderson, Johannes DeYoung, Wayne Hodge, Jessica Lagunas, Regina Rocke, Lerato Shadi and Ezra Wube unites and expands upon these foundations laid more than half a century before and employs media to both document an autobiographical exploration of kinesics and place themselves in position or opposition to global discourses on identity and representation.
Rush Arts Gallery promotes the work of a diverse group of artists primarily living and working in New York and the surrounding areas. Concurrent with its efforts to support a unique constellation of creative practices—a constellation broadly defined by experimental ventures in performance, visual art, curatorial work and community involvement—Rush Arts aims to provide an inclusive space for new audiences and broaden the parameters of the artistic community at large. Rush Arts is a core program of the Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation, a non-profit organization founded in 1995 by brothers Russell, Danny and Joseph Simmons that is dedicated to providing urban youth with significant exposure and access to the arts, as well as providing exhibition opportunities to emerging and mid-career artists who are not commercially represented. All exhibition programs are headed by Derrick Adams, Curatorial Director, and Nico Wheadon, Associate Curator and the exhibition and education programs of the gallery are sponsored in part by a grant from the New York State Council for the Arts and are free and open to the public.