Merce Cunningham performs STILLNESS... (six performances, six films) 2008
As part of #Portrait by Tacita Dean @nationalportraitgallery the film installation is a moving masterpiece.
Merce Cunningham (1919-2009) performs STILLNESS to his life-partner and collaborator John Cage’s seminal 1952 composition 4’33”. Filmed in Cunningham’s dance studio in New York, the different screens present a live-size Cunningham. As you walk into the room and cross the path of a projector’s light beam, you find your shadow standing next to Cunningham’s seated ageing figure. You are dancing in the room with a man who transformed and defined modern dance and art through movement. Ageing seems cruel but Cunningham’s reach goes beyond stillness and silence.
If 4’33” is a musical composition dedicated to silence and sound environment, STILLNESS is the ultimate ode to dance and a love letter to John Cage. Tacita Dean is the only film maker to portray it.
#tacitadean #cunningham #mercecunningham #filmportrait #stillness #johncage #silence #moderndance #nationalportraitgallery