“If I say ‘thank you for coming,’ it implies that you are already there.” —Faye Driscoll
Through an alchemy of bodies and voices, objects and live sound, choreographer Faye Driscoll (US, b. 1975) conjures worlds that are, like ourselves, alive and forever changeable. The artist poses performance as one of the last secular social spaces, where the vulnerability, necessity, and complexities of our everyday relationships are heightened and made palpable. Driscoll’s projects draw on our shared power to question and shape the structures that govern our behavior. Characterizing her work as “dances that are mistaken for plays,” she creates sets designed to break apart; musical scores made from the performers’ stomps and vocalizations; and props that are worn, used, and reused.
In her trilogy of performances Thank You For Coming, Driscoll engages with the political as well as physical and emotional states, at once balancing poignancy and tenderness with irreverent wit and humor, summoning “the unnamed forces that surge between the viewer and the viewed.” Each of the works in the series—Attendance (2014), Play (2016), and Space (2019)—takes a distinct form, whether exploring rituals of storytelling, ways that we speak through and for each other, or human connectivity and loss.
Faye Driscoll: Thank You For Coming, the artist’s first solo museum exhibition, was developed by Driscoll and her long-term artistic collaborators Nick Vaughan and Jake Margolin. Exploring human interdependence and connectivity, the show looks back across the entirety of the trilogy, which was presented and co-commissioned by the Walker and subsequently toured around the world over the past six years. Bringing the immersive experience of her theater works into the gallery, Driscoll invites us to become active participants through a series of prompts and subtle directives that leads us on a shared journey.
Presented in conjunction with Thank You For Coming: Space, performed in the Walker’s McGuire Theater March 5–8, 2020.
Curators: Pavel Pyś, curator, Visual Arts; with Molly Hanse, curatorial assistant, Performing Arts