Wally and Jennifer were in residence at Joyce SoHo last winter and spring, preparing for their production of TOOL IS LOOT, wrapping up its run this weekend at The Kitchen. A bit about their creation and process follows as well as an interview conducted by Joyce SoHo intern and FSU student Bethany Miller.
“We would like to believe that our bodies and our brains are fantastically flexible and responsive to change, containing - at any moment - both the abstract and the specific. Well… what we’ve learned is that this is both gloriously true and frustratingly untrue. But that’s okay, really, and this dance proves it. There will be a swan, a prince, a robot, sexual behavior and two chairs. Sometimes all at once.” –Wally Cardona & Jennifer Lacey
To create TOOL IS LOOT, Cardona and Lacey first worked apart, in the U.S. and France respectively, for one year. In each project (Lacey’s My First Time with a Dramaturge and Cardona’s Intervention) they first created an “empty solo”, designed to make itself completely available to an outside eye or opinion. Each artist then solicited weeklong encounters with individuals with skill sets far outside of dance: an astrophysicist, a sommelier, a visual artist, an architect, a film editor, a medical supply salesman, a kinetic sculptor, a baroque opera singer, an art critic, a group of acousticians and a social activist. As artists specialized in studio and performance practice, Cardona and Lacey made their skills and creative environments available to each expert, voluntarily subjecting their aesthetic positions to a barrage of assessment, opinions and desires from the “outsiders.” Each weeklong session was documented and ended with a public performance. The artists view each project - MFTWD and Intervention - as two objects existing separate from the identity of research. The two projects resulted in fourteen works, each performed once. None of the material generated from the encounters, including the “empty solos”, is in TOOL IS LOOT. The original “empty solo” served solely as an introduction with each expert and was destined never to be seen by other individuals.
Ultimately, TOOL IS LOOT has been formed through a fascination with the aesthetic propositions that persisted because of their foreignness.
The following information is from an interview conducted by Joyce SoHo intern, Bethany Miller and Wally Cardona.
TOOL IS LOOT, A new work created by Wally Cardona and Jennifer Lacey will be performed for its last weekend at The Kitchen, this Friday and Saturday night. After talking with Mr. Cardona about the work, I was very interested in the process and how he and Jennifer created the final product from the interactions they experienced. I love the idea of bringing viewers in from other career backgrounds that are not familiar with dance and asking for their feedback and opinions. The interactions, some challenging and some not, were all “fantastic,” Wally points out. What was satisfying for Wally, is that they all invested in the process on a personal level to some degree. This collaboration between an artist and an “outsider” brings valuable information to the process and the final work. In TOOL IS LOOT, Wally and Jennifer incorporate the requests made by the “outsiders” and the tools they learned to use while working with the individuals. This exploration of what is foreign and unfamiliar is interpreted by Wally and Jennifer through their movement and ideas in collaboration with what they learned from the individual “outsiders.” Much of the work was explored and created at Joyce SoHo through a residency before I arrived. Being one that did not experience the process, I am interested to see the conflict or tension interpreted in the piece; the tension between the ideas influenced by non-dancers and the artists themselves. I look forward to experiencing the final product as a whole after learning about the process and inspiration.
The final performances at The Kitchen will be September 29–October 1 at 8:00pm.