A Dialogue on Acting and Performance
with Philip Auslander
A Meditation on Them Black Bodies:
by Opal Moore
A dialogue with Director Daniele Frison
and Giuseppe Gavazza
Dora Maar,The Conversation, 1937, Fundación Almine y Bernard Ruiz-Picasso para el Arte, Madrid © FABA
Photo: Marc Domage © ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2019
I am gratified to present further conversations between artists about their work, their process, and their journey in the September 2022 issue of The Art Section.
Giuseppe Gavazza, an experimental composer from Turin, is in dialogue with Daniele Frison, a filmmaker who living in Venice. They discuss a film Daniele was commissioned to make concerning a Turin judge, Domenico Riccardo Peretti Griva, who was also a photographer. Daniele wrote to me, “Bene per la conversazione sul film Il mondo di Riccardo, sono molto curioso di vedere quale sarà l'accoglienza da parte dei lettori di TAS di una storia così distante dalla realtà americana.” (“Regarding the conversation about the film on Riccardo's world, I'm very curious to see what the TAS readers' reception of a story so distant from the American reality will be.”) Daniele also wrote to another of TAS’s writers, originally from Turin, “The film is the portrait of a rich and multifaceted personality with great humanity who combined the integrity of a magistrate with the love of beauty of a photographer. It is also a journey into the atmosphere of the first half of the Twentieth Century, simultaneously a period of creativity and intense tragedy. The life of Domenico…, magistrate, photographer of international recognition, anti- fascist, defender of civil rights, and fervent European supporter is narrated by his niece Giovanna Galante Garrone and others: magistrates, law historians and photographers who knew him well.”
Philip Auslander, a performance art scholar, cultural critic, and actor, is in dialogue with Daniel Pettrow, an actor who began his career in Atlanta at Ballroom Studios which was in a downtown loft. I remember the projects and experimental works presented there— rough, unpolished, but very beautiful. In Atlanta at 7 Stages, Pettrow performed in Black Battles with Dogs by Bernard-Marie Koltes, which explores racial tensions, myths, loneliness, and rage. This work traveled to Europe, and when Daniel returned, he moved to New York City where he works with The Wooster Group as well as others. This conversation between Auslander and Pettrow is a kind of full circle analysis of the current arc of both their interests and passions for performance.
Poet Opal Moore writes about the work of choreographer and performer T. Lang, her former colleague on the faculty of Spelman College (Moore recently retired from the college). She provides significant insight into T. Lang’s content pertaining to the African diaspora and Black Feminism. As T. Lang observes in their dialogue, “Looking at . . . the work that I do through the vehicle of dance—ancestral soul movement—really unlocks questions.” As a 2022 Social Justice Fellow at Emory University, T. Lang is described as an artist who “explores how, and why, untold truths of American history related to race and gender identity fuel the ammunition for her embodied practices.”
Perhaps conversations between artists are the most revealing. For one artist to recognize the importance of another’s work and engage in a written conversation opens a window on both the artist and the writer to create a point of entry through which others can gain an understanding of the work.
With great appreciation to all,
The Art Section