Courtesy of Adam Pendleton

Adam Pendleton's most recent video portrait of the dancer, choreographer, filmmaker and writer Yvonne Rainer, called Just Back from Los Angeles: A Portrait of Yvonne Rainer (2016–17) is currently on view at MIT List Visual Arts Center in Cambridge, MA.

Adam Pendleton’s multi-disciplinary practice across painting, sculpture, video, and performance searches for “radical juxtapositions.” Appropriating found images and text, Pendleton brings together often divergent ideas to destabilize the present and envision new aesthetic, cultural, and political futures. Since 2008, Pendleton’s fragmentary, visionary process has been driven by a conceptual paradigm the artist termed “Black Dada,” which takes inspiration from Amiri Baraka’s 1964 poem “Black Dada Nihilismus.”

Just Back from Los Angeles: A Portrait of Yvonne Rainer (2016–17) centers around a meal Pendleton and Rainer share at a New York City diner. Over the course of their meal, the video records their unscripted conversation punctuated by poignant moments where each artist leads the other. Rainer leads Pendleton in partnered movement exercises. Pendleton invites Rainer to read from a script which combines her writing with accounts and discussions of inequality, racism, and anti-black violence by such voices as Stokely Carmichael, Malcolm X, and Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor. Including footage from Rainer’s 1978 documentation of Trio A, Just Back from Los Angeles stages an inter-generational dialogue across lines of sexual and racial difference that provoke critical inquiry into the artists’ shared questions of poetics and politics. Continue Reading.

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