Artdaily: Carolyn Lazard explores legacy of dance film through Lens of Accessibility in new commision at ICA

Carolyn Lazard explores legacy of dance film through Lens of Accessibility in new commision at ICA

March 17, 2023

This spring, the Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania (ICA) presents the first U.S. solo museum exhibition of Carolyn Lazard (b. 1987). Co- commissioned with the Walker Art Center and Nottingham Contemporary, Carolyn Lazard: Long Take explores the social and aesthetic dimensions of accessibility through documentation and performance. Featuring an immersive multi-channel video and sound work anchored by four sculptures that reimagine existing ICA seating for media viewing, the exhibition encourages visitors to reconsider the form in which an artwork resides and why sight has been privileged in the spectatorship of dance.

On view from March 10 through July 9, 2023, Carolyn Lazard: Long Take furthers ICA’s mission of providing a platform for ascendant artists who spark dialogues on key contemporary issues and builds upon its commitment to advancing interdisciplinary practices. The exhibition is co-curated by Meg Onli, who served as Andrea B. Laporte Associate Curator at ICA from 2016 through 2021 and currently is the co- curator of the 2024 Whitney Biennial. A special conversation between Onli and Lazard is taking place at ICA on March 11. For more information and to register for the event is available here.

“Carolyn Lazard’s work looks beyond material constraints of medium and utilizes both traditional and non- traditional techniques to engage visitors in pressing conversations on access, debility, and the arts,” said Zoë Ryan, the ICA’s Daniel W. Dietrich, II Director. “This exhibition marks a homecoming of sorts for Carolyn, who is an alum of the University of Pennsylvania and whose work the ICA has long followed and championed. It has been especially rewarding to collaborate again with Meg Onli, who is intimately familiar with our mission as well as with Carolyn’s creative practice, to actualize their vision for this new commission.”

Through Long Take, Lazard examines the legacy of dance for the camera through the lens of accessibility as a creative tool. A sound installation anchors the work, which includes a recorded reading of a dance score, the sound of a dancer’s movement and breath, and an audio description. To create the sound piece, Lazard provided dancer and choreographer Jerron Herman with an original dance score, filmed his performance, and subsequently collaborated with poet and artist Joselia Rebekah Hughes on the audio description of the filmed recording.

The resulting work intentionally blurs the boundaries between movement, description, and translation. By presenting this dance work using text and sound rather than visually, Lazard examines how a performance might be communicated beyond its image and encourages us to think about ways that artworks are made accessible. The work also places new emphasis on the often-unseen networks of care, labor, and friendship that make collaborative endeavors possible.

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