• The Cello in Art (3) – Jonah Bokaer

Jonah Bokaer: On Vanishing (2011)

This has to be one of the most stunning photographs of a dancer in recent years.  I’m just fascinated by its lines, the merging of the body and reflection into an indivisible sculpture, at once static yet full of energy.  The eye can’t help but travel through, across, along.  Absolutely wonderful.

“Where’s the cello?”, you might ask.  Well, this photo is a publicity still for a performance last month by the American dance and media artist, Jonah Bokaer.  On Vanishing was premiered at the Guggenheim Museum in New York on 14 July 2011, with Bokaer (above) and four other dancers, in response to an exhibition of work by Lee Ufan, ‘Marking Infinity’.  This 40-minute ‘choreographic dialogue with sculpture’ (Lee Ufan’s steel wall and two rocks) was accompanied by a performance of a late work by John Cage.  His One8 for solo cello (1991) was played by Loren Kiyoshi Dempster.

“How does the body erase itself, to prefer matter against presence?” (Bokaer)

Photo © Michael Hart, 2011

To get a taste of Bokaer’s extraordinary choreographic imagination and dynamism as a dancer, here’s a clip he posted of his short solo piece False Start (2007; premiered 2008, New York).  A Petrushka for our time, 100 years on.


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