Each One As She May
Ligon, Reich, and De Keersmaeker

April 24-July 28, 2013
Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania
Curated by students in the Spiegel Contemporary Art Freshman Seminar and their instructors, Professor Gwendolyn DuBois Shaw and ICA Whitney-Lauder Curatorial Fellow Jennifer Burris

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“Repeating is the whole of living and by repeating comes understanding,” writes Gertrude Stein in The Making of Americans (1925). Works in this group exhibition test this maxim through drawing, dance, film, and sound.

In twenty-nine oil stick and coal dust works on paper by Glenn Ligon, the words “negro sunshine” (appropriated from Stein’s 1909 short story “Melanctha: Each One As She May”) reappear, smudging and disintegrating, across a series of drawings that unfold like a film strip. Composer Steve Reich synchronizes recorded voices using audio players in It’s Gonna Rain (1965) and Come Out (1966), capturing the phase shifting of magnetic tape, as the doubled testimony of a Pentecostal preacher and a member of the “Harlem Six” moves slowly out of sync before returning to intelligibility. In Thierry De Mey’s hypnotic film Fase (2002), which stages Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker’s choreography to Reich’s compositions, dancers echo this process of reiteration, dissolution, and transfiguration.

Through this interplay between media, Each One As She May presents work by three contemporary artists who use repetition to explore the boundaries of language, movement, and understanding. The culmination of a collaboration between ICA and Penn’s Department of the History of Art, this exhibition grew out of the students’ archival exploration of ICA’s 1998 exhibition Glenn Ligon: Unbecoming.

Exhibition Site
Each One As She May
Exhibition Poster. Design by Jake Hobart.

From Philadelphia: Each One As She May
Contemporary Art Meets Historical at ICA
Creating Failure as an Artist at ICA
Art: Repetition as a Means of Understanding
Penn at ICA: Students Turned Curators
Freshman Seminar Curates ICA Exhibit