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Yvonne Rainer: Words, Dances, Films

MAMbo, Sala delle Ciminiere
30 June - 10 September 2023

Yvonne Rainer: Words, Dances, Films explores the relationship between Yvonne Rainer's (San Francisco, 1934) choreographic, filmic, and theoretical production through a historical reconstruction of her transition from dance to cinema.
Internationally known for revolutionizing the world of dance in the 1960s by promoting a minimalist approach inspired by the body's natural kinetic movement and everyday gestures, Rainer began her career as a director in 1972, the year her first film, Lives of Performers, was released.

Curated by Caterina Molteni, the exhibition traces the roots of this transition both in the intermedial approach of Rainer's performances in the 1960s and 1970s - in which speech, projections of photographs, texts, and moving images played a key role - and in the socio-political issues which became a distinctive feature of her research after the outbreak of the Vietnam War and Rainer's interest in the feminist movement.
While in performance the body takes on a political value, as it is presented in its absolute materiality, beyond fictional narratives, in films it's the human interiority that is portrayed in its psychological complexity. It is the focus on feelings as "facts" (Feelings are Facts is the title of her 2006 memoir) that marks her decision to devote herself to writing and directing. Rainer finds in narrative, and in its ability to engage and empathize with the audience, the tool through which she can transform a personal story into a political issue.

In the Sala delle Ciminiere, Yvonne Rainer: Words, Dances, Films presents films made between 1972 and 1996, recently restored by the MoMA - Modern Art Museum of New York with support from The Celeste Bartos Fund for Film Preservation, and released by Zeitgeist Films association with Kino Lorber. Simultaneously, it delves into the video experimentation preceding the feature films and the author's theoretical and poetic writings.

An archival area chronologically recounts Rainer's revolution in the New York dance world through photographs, notebooks, posters, and documents from the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles.

A special section is devoted to Rainer’s poetic production of the 1990s and 2000s, as evidence of the author's continuing interest in writing. This is another example of her willingness to transform the inner life into something that opens onto a shared space, the "in-between" (as Hannah Arendt put it in her The Human Condition, 1958) that defines "the political”.

Yvonne Rainer: Words, Dances, Films is part of Bologna Estate 2023, the programme of activities promoted and coordinated by the Comune di Bologna and the Città metropolitana di Bologna | Territorio Turistico Bologna-Modena.

Opening: Thursaday 29 June 2023 5 pm