Related
Announcement
July 12, 2021

Will Rawls
Everlasting Stranger

Henry Art Gallery at University of Washington

Will Rawls, Alpha Dance (still), 2018. Video. Courtesy of the artist.

Will Rawls, Study, 2019. Digital photograph. Courtesy of the artist.

In collaboration with Velocity Dance Center, the Henry Art Gallery is pleased to present Will Rawls: Everlasting Stranger this summer. In this exhibition, New York-based choreographer and writer Will Rawls (b. 1978, Boston, MA) activates relationships between language, dance, and image through the fragmentary medium of stop-motion animation. Throughout the installation, time and movement slow as a live, automated camera photographs the frame-by-frame actions of four dancers. While the performers occupy the labor of becoming images, visual capture is staged as an obsessive process that is constant yet compromised by the movement it aims to fix. Here, as in previous works, Rawls develops strategies of evasion and engagement within systems that mediate, distort, and abstract the body.

Rawls’s installation takes inspiration from the work of Guyanese writer Wilson Harris and his surrealist novel The Infinite Rehearsal (1987). In the book, the constrictive projections of the colonial gaze manifest as a child’s fever dream where ghosts reinterpret time, genealogy, and identity as unstable matter. Harris’s novel serves as a conduit through which Rawls addresses the misrepresentation that haunts all forms of capture, including photography and choreography. Within the temporal delirium that marks existence in quarantine, Rawls animates the life that appears between frames.

Performance schedule: Every Saturday, July 17–August 14 & Sunday, July 18, 12–3pm

Dancers: Alyza DelPan-Monley, Akoiya Harris, Nia-Amina Minor, Fox Whitney
Costume design: womxn’s rites
Installation support: Jessica Roxann Jones, Katie Miller, Audie Odat, Max Pethe, Aviva Rubin, Eric Zimmerman
Video effects: Lauryn Siegel
Sound mix: Jeremy Toussaint-Baptiste
Performance manager: Symone Sanz

About the artist
Will Rawls earned a BA in Art History from Williams College. He is a recipient of a United States Artists Award, Creative Capital Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, Foundation for Contemporary Arts grant, MacDowell Fellowship, Robert Rauschenberg Residency, Hodder Fellowship at Princeton University, a “Bessie” (New York Dance and Performance Award), and Herb Alpert Award in the Arts. Rawls’s choreographic work has appeared nationally and internationally at the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Chocolate Factory Theater, Queens; High Line Art, New York; ICA Boston; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; Portland Institute of Contemporary Art; and Tanzquartier Wien, Vienna, Austria, among others. His writing has been published by Artforum; Dancing While Black Journal; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; and Museum of Modern Art, New York. Rawls has been a guest artist at Bard College, Barnard College, Harvard University/Carpenter Center, Wesleyan University, and Williams College, and a mentor for Colorado College’s Department of Theatre and Dance. He served as the 2020-2021 UC Regents’ Professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, Department of World Arts and Cultures/Dance.

Credits
Will Rawls: Everlasting Stranger is a collaboration between Henry Art Gallery and Velocity Dance Center and is organized by Nina Bozicnik, Henry Curator, and Erin Johnson, Velocity Interim Artistic and Managing Director. It is presented in conjunction with the Seattle Festival of Dance + Improvisation, with project support from the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional support provided by UW Department of Dance, and by John Robinson and Maya Sonenberg. Costumes complements of womxn’s rites.

The exhibition is presented in conjunction with Murmurations, a Seattle-wide arts collaboration featuring a series of exhibitions, performances, screenings, community conversations, artist talks, and other programs co-developed between cultural organizations.

Thank you!

An email with a confirmation link has been sent to the email address you entered. To complete your subscription, click this link.