One of dance’s most distinctive experimental voices, choreographer/director Faye Driscoll (US, b. 1975) completes her Walker-commissioned trilogy Thank You For Coming with a powerful new project that bridges gallery and stage. Driscoll’s work poses performance as one of the last secular social spaces, where the vulnerability, necessity, and complexity of our interconnection can be made palpable. Her projects employ heightened modes of performativity, reformulations of proximity, and at times direct physical connection to reveal what she describes as “the palindromic loop between self and other.” Sets are designed to break apart; musical scores are made from the performers’ stomps and voices; props are worn, used, and reused.
Thank You For Coming: Attendance (2014), the first part of Driscoll’s trilogy, softened the lines between spectator and participant by deftly morphing audiences and performers into an impromptu 75-minute community. The second work, Thank You For Coming: Play (2016), focused on the consumption and fabrication of narrative as a way to make our lives cohere, examining the lingering gaps and glitches (both physically and vocally) between what we say and what we do. The Walker presented Attendance in 2016 and co-commissioned and presented Play to Walker audiences in 2017.
Driscoll’s new piece Thank You For Coming: Space (2019) unfolds with a moving requiem on art, the body, and loss. Performed in a unique installation setting on the McGuire Theater stage, Space is informed by art-historical imagery and emerges as a collaborative creation between the artist, her astute design collaborators, and the audience.
In conjunction with the new performance work, Driscoll extended the conceptual underpinnings of her trilogy to the Walker’s gallery Gallery 7. Faye Driscoll: Come On In, the artist’s first gallery installation, presented an environment that invited us each to become active participants. Following closure due to COVID-19, Driscoll reimagined part of the exhibition as an online experience, to be viewed from the comfort of your home.