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Yvonne Rainer: Work 1961–73
Text by Yvonne Rainer.
“It goes without saying that a dance is a dance and a book about dance is a book. Though they may meet at the intersection of Art and Good Intentions, I find myself greedy. I have a longstanding infatuation with language, a not-easily assailed conviction that it, above all else, offers a key to clarity. Not that it can replace experience, but rather holds a mirror to our experience, gives us distance when we need it. So here I am, in a sense, trying to ‘replace’ my performances with a book, greedily pushing language to clarify what already was clear in other terms. But, alas, gone. This has seemed one good reason to compile a book out of the remains of my performances, letting the language fall where it may. Let it be said ‘She usually makes performances and has also made a book.’” –Yvonne Rainer
Forty-five years after its publication, Primary Information brings Yvonne Rainer’s classic book back into print in an exact facsimile.
In 1974, Yvonne Rainer published Work 1961–73, an illustrated catalog of her performance works up to that point. In these years, as the art world turned toward minimalism, Rainer and her Judson Dance Theater colleagues were engaged in a parallel, and equally radical, redefinition of dance. Stripping dance of its pomp and self-serious virtuosity, they created what dancer and choreographer Pat Catterson has called “the people’s dance.” Or, as Rainer put it, instead of the “overblown plot” of traditional dance, she explored the “obvious” alternative: “stand, walk, run, eat, carry bricks, show movies, or move and be moved by some thing other than oneself.”
Work 1961–73 chronicles the years when Rainer found herself and her work at the heart of a revolution in dance, performance and art. Written in Rainer’s wonderful frank, funny and perceptive prose, and illustrated with photographs, handwritten scores, sketches, press articles and ephemera, Work 1961–73 is a period document and an instruction manual, an archive and a manifesto.
A sought-after, rare classic, Work 1961–73 is brought back into print in a true facsimile edition by Primary Information; the only change is the small addition of new notes at the back of the book.
One of the most influential artists of her generation, dancer, choreographer and filmmaker Yvonne Rainer (born 1934) was a founding member of Judson Dance Theater in New York City and a leading figure in the development of minimalist and postmodern dance.
A spread from 'Yvonne Rainer: Work 1961–73.'
PRAISE AND REVIEWS
New York Review of Books
Over the past sixty years, Rainer has made an art of bringing a deadpan comic tone to scenes of strenuous activity: bodily exertion, illness, political struggle, emotional strain, taxing dialectical thought.
A big black-and-white book, first published in 1973 and prettily reissued by Primary Information, "Work 1961–73" collects screenplays, photographs, flyers, and essays, which comprise an odd monument to thirteen years of scrupulous, self-inflicted, paradoxically rebellious discipline that took the form, for Yvonne Rainer, of dances and films. Devotees will find much to relish: Loaded with documentation and reflections, the book gives a sinuous and often funny account of the first stirrings of Judson Dance Theater, breathing life into an avant-garde now hardened into history.
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FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 3/20/2020
Featured spread is from Yvonne Rainer: Work 1961–73, Primary Information's new facsimile edition of the pioneering choreographer's classic 1974 illustrated catalogue of her performance works up to that point. Showing Rainer's notes on Connecticut Composite, "an evening involving 80 students, taking place in five separate performing areas in one building," the audience for this work could move from one performance to another at their own discretion, according to the schedule pictured at right. On the left are Rainer's designs representing "consecutive static configurations by a group of 20 people. The arrows indicate the directions in which they are to face. An unbroken line means shoulder-to-shoulder alignment. A series of parallel short lines indicates column formation." Rainer's instructions call for performers to regroup 20 times. continue to blog
USD $30.00 | CAN $42 UK £ 26
Pub Date: 7/4/2023
USD $40.00 | CAN $55
Pub Date: 4/14/2020
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