film still with girls with gold teeth

Jennie Liu

Artist in Residence, 2018

A person reaching their hands out toward a plant.

Artist Statement

I make performances that are bodily and conceptual, choreographic and theatrical. Each piece I make is defined by a different compositional logic, with manifold structures and subjects at work simultaneously. Embodied research is at the heart of my practice. I am concerned with the body’s cognitive capacity, the felt and sensorial, bodies in intimate, intelligent relation with one another. I am attuned to communicating the gap between messy subjectivity and public display, what we signify and what we feel, and, using movement, text, sound, and video, provide myriad points of entry for a complex, heterogeneous audience.

I wonder about the body as repository for lived histories, for forgotten capacity, and the act of performance as a process of exhumation. Theater, its techniques and customs, are precious to me for their usage in this respect. Play, costuming, scenario: these devices gain us access to an un-coded space that we have almost all but lost.

While At Headlands

I intend to use my time at Headlands to construct and refine material for a performance piece in progress entitled The Subjugation, about the multivalenced ways in which bodies and things both dominate and are dominated via systems of communication of theatre across global history. With collaborators Andrew Gilbert and Amenta Abioto, I will wrestle with the work of Julia Kristeva, research legacies of dance-ethnography, do comparative readings of trauma narratives (fictional and factual), and unveil hegemonic forces undergirding early Hollywood choreography.

Selected Videos