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The Mineralogy of Objects

Commissioned by Danspace Project at St. Mark’s Church for the Spring 2015 Season, April 16-18, 2015, and remounted as part of the Danspace Project Commissions Revisited Series January 2016.

The Mineralogy of Objects is a quartet that examines the power of objects and the body. Translating Variétés de Minéralogie Object (1939), a shadow box by artist Joseph Cornell, into a collective, kinetic exercise. Berg finds inspiration in Cornell’s repetition and transformation of a female silhouette. When Tanya, a blow-up doll, enters, the quartet becomes a quintet, with Tanya transforming from doppelganger, to object, to virtuosic dance star. Reappropriating ascribed feminine aesthetics from Sianne Ngai’s book “Our Aesthetic Categories,” addressing notions of ‘cute’ (think Murakami’s recurring character Mr. DOB) and ‘zany’ (the comedic failures of I Love Lucy or the illogical antics of Pee-Wee Herman), TMOO simultaneously expresses feelings of vulnerability, power, aggression and virtuosity – in light of, in conversation with, and in place of beauty.

We are a unison machine, a string of beads, an energetic force rejecting our own objectification in the refusal to stay still.” – Laurie b

Created by Laurie Berg with performers Jodi Bender, Bessie McDonough-Thayer, and Jillian Sweeney, original sound by Karl Scholz and lighting by Carol Mullins.

Other iterations and showings…

  • Danspace Project Gala Rebel Angels 2017, NY, NY
  • September 2016: Astor Alive! Festival, NY, NY
  • August 2016: Beach Sessions Dance Series, Rockaway Beach, Queens
  • March 2016: SALTA + AUNTS = BAM, Berkeley Art Museum, Berkeley, CA
  • December 2014: Little Theater at Dixon Place, NY, NY