Pauline LeBouba "J.J."
« “How may one revisit a little-known or even forgotten personality of dance history? How may one work with the lacks, the gaps, the absences?
These two questions serve as starting points to my investigation on Jill Johnston, a New York-based dance critic and performer from the 60s. She brought unswerving support to the artists of the Judson Dance Theater, and, when she wasn’t writing about their work, she performed with John Cage, Yvonne Rainer, Robert Morris and Deborah Hay. At the end of the 1960s, she came-out and became a radical lesbian activist. Her literary style mixes journalism, poetry and personal diary. Inspired by speculative traditions, I care to reexamine her career by exploring her archives (composed of written and iconographic documents) but also by fabricating new material.
Relying on two 16mm films – Jill and Freddy Dancing and Jill Johnston Dancing – by Andy Warhol, in which we see the dance critic improvise movement, I wish to prolong these existing documents by developing a narrative that would account for Jill Johnston’s many lives. J. J. becomes the title of this work and embraces the activist and poetical implications of her dance, writing and happenings.
This project will in part contain a performative restitution of a long-term research on Jill Johnston’s New York-based archives. This piece aims to unfold on stage all that exceeds my investigation on her person. Following my desire to share the complexity and fruitfulness of Jill Johnston’s oeuvre, a series of workshops will be organized with participants from different contexts (women’s associations, LGBTQI+ communities and students from art schools) around this singular personality of artist-critic, artist-researcher and feminist-lesbian-artist.”
Pauline Le Boulba, March 2019.
01.04.20 - 30.04.20