|Pioneering choreographer and dancer Shelley Lasica will present a major new work at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, bringing together her exceptional understanding of movement, colour, audience and architecture into what she describes as a performance-exhibition. |
Co-commissioned with Monash University Museum of Art (MUMA), WHEN I AM NOT THERE will unfold across two weeks in May and comprises an evolving, dynamic performance with costumes, choreography, objects, texts and soundscapes that extend from Lasica’s archive. WHEN I AM NOT THERE was first presented at MUMA from 16–27 August 2022.
For over four decades, Melbourne-based Lasica has experimented with the possibilities of choreography, examining the conversations it holds with other disciplines including visual art, architecture, fashion, theatre and literature, as well as the many and varied contexts in which it can occur. She has performed her work in nightclubs, rehearsal rooms, outdoor public spaces, sports halls, theatres and galleries.
Lasica’s choreographic works have been shown nationally and internationally and in 2021 she was the recipient of an Australia Council Dance Fellowship. Throughout her career she has organised and participated in numerous residencies, exchanges and mentorship programs in Australia and overseas. She has influenced generations of dancers, and currently teaches choreography to visual arts students as well as to dance students.
Curated by Art Gallery of NSW curator of contemporary international art, Lisa Catt, WHEN I AM NOT THERE consolidates ideas and experiments that Lasica has been developing throughout her career to investigate the tension between what it means ‘to perform’ and ‘to exhibit’.
Art Gallery of NSW director Michael Brand said the Art Gallery is committed to presenting performance-based works as part of its core program.
‘WHEN I AM NOT THERE will be an exciting new experience for our audience and signals the Art Gallery’s embrace of the full spectrum of contemporary art. The expansion of the Art Gallery, through the Sydney Modern Project, has created an incredible opportunity to extend our programming and establish ourselves as an art institution that celebrates and supports live and ephemeral works, including music, dance and performance.’
Featuring eight performers, including Lasica herself, the work will be presented during opening hours over 14 days, offering a new encounter for visitors each day. Lasica developed the work with a team of 10 other artists, including dancers LJ Connolly-Hiatt, Luke Fryer, Timothy Harvey, Rebecca Jensen, Megan Payne, Lana Šprajcer and Oliver Savariego, as well as writer Lisa Radford, architect Colby Vexler and composer François Tétaz, alongside creative producer Zoe Theodore and commissioning curator Hannah Mathews.