Constellations and Influences part II: Hilary Easton
November 13, 2014
- My most central influence is my daily experiences and the people around me: my family, my friends, my students, and the performers/collaborators I work with all play a significant role in how I think about my life and my work. That is even truer than usual withI Am With You, a very personal work.
- The work of photographer/video artist Rineke Dijkstra is very resonant for me, certainly because of her work with adolescents (I Am With You has five teenagers in the cast) but also due to her interest, similar to mine, in highlighting and framing a state of diminished artifice. That’s been a driving idea for me in recent years, which you will see particularly in the first section of I Am With You. I’ve been inspired by many visual artists, includingFelix Gonzalez-Torres, in particular his Untitled (Perfect Lovers), as well as performing artists way too extensive to fully list but certainly including my friends and colleagues Annie B. Parson, Patricia Hoffbauer, and RoseAnne Spradlin.
- Dr. Maxine Greene: philosopher, advocate for social justice, Professor Emeritus of Teacher’s College, tremendous advocate of art and true friend to many artists, including myself. Maxine passed away this past May at the age of 96. There are many galvanizing quotes by Maxine that speak to me, including: “Move beyond the sense of the given, toward possibility—not predictability, but possibility.” and this: “Identity is never fixed. We are always becoming.”
- Danspace has been my artistic home for more than 20 years now, and everything about it inspires me: the openness of its artistic values, the extraordinary artists I have seen perform there, the generosity and smarts of its staff, and the building itself: imposing but also very intimate. Some of my first choreographic work was shown at Danspace, whose curators (Cynthia Hedstrom, Terry Fox, Laurie Uprichard, and Judy Hussie-Taylor) gave me a chance when I was completely green and have believed in me through many years and a good deal of choreographic growth. Danspace been the catalyst of much of my proudest artistic work, and it was with Danspace very much in mind that I Am With You was created.