A letter from PLATFORM 2011 Susan Rethorst: Retro(intro)spective curator Melinda Ring
May 9, 2011
This morning, May 9th, movers arrived early at Susan Rethorst’s 8th floor apartment on the Lower East Side, put her living room furniture into a truck, drove it to St. Mark’s Church and loaded it into the sanctuary. So her residency at Danspace Project-and my curatorial platform Susan Rethorst: Retro(into)spective-begins.
At 8pm this evening, after a hard day’s work, we (you and I) will join Susan on her couch to watch Carl Reiner’s very funny film, All of Me, which stars Steve Martin, Lily Tomlin, and Victoria Tennant. It’s an old film (from 1984), so once in awhile as our minds drift, we will think about displacement and the intersection of the ordinary and art making. And, if we are already familiar with Susan’s work we will feel the connection between Steve Martin’s choreography and hers that we can’t quite describe. The whole situation will “feel right”-Susan’s own criteria for when something succeeds.
This first week is a work week, devoted to process and daily rehearsals, but there will be opportunities at the end of the week for you to come into St. Mark’s Church and see what’s going on.
On Thursday evening there will be (a truly) Open Rehearsal. Come see Susan actually at work, directing dancers and figuring things out. This was a personal request of mine. I go to a lot of open rehearsals hoping to see another choreographer actually doing what they do. Usually I’m disappointed to find a work-in-progress showing plus discussion. Are choreographers just shy, or are programmers worried that people will be bored? I’m not afraid to be bored, and Susan’s not shy.
Then on Friday and Saturday evenings John Jesurun and I get to take over and remake Susan’s world as we’d like to see it, Wrecking it. Again, actual artists actually at work and, if you’re curious, you can watch.
I’m tremendously excited that we’ve arrived at this beginning moment. For me this platform really began quite a long time ago, in August 2008 when Judy Hussie-Taylor invited me to curate…. Or, did it start in Los Angeles in 1989 when I first saw Susan’s work? – Melinda Ring