“Following the sold-out premiere of Battleground in 2016, Works & Process presents an encore of this one-of-a-kind “Cosplay-Battle-Ballet” made in and for the museum’s Frank Lloyd Wright–designed theater. Three squads of performers—the Red Choir Loft, the Green Balcony, and the Blue Stage—battle for dominance with audience members acting as embedded witnesses.” — Works & Process
“Over seventy years ago, Frank Lloyd Wright sketched a room to be built under the Guggenheim. People seem to think it’s a theater. In actuality, it’s a set Wright prophetically designed for the sci-fi cosplay house-music ballet-battle that fell into my mind the moment I saw the space. The Peter B. Lewis Theater will realize its destiny in my piece ‘Battleground’.” – Ryan McNamara
Ryan McNamara: Originally trained in photography and sculpture, Ryan McNamara’s practice has grown to include a wide array of performative actions, from covert solo pieces to large-scale theatrical productions. The detritus of these performances is then used as raw material for his object-based work. For his 2010 exhibition Introducing Ryan McNamara, he displayed personal items at Elizabeth Dee Gallery and gave customized tours of his life to audience members. In 2010, as part of MoMA PS1’s “Greater New York” survey, McNamara performed Make Ryan a Dancer, in which he publicly submitted to dance lessons from a wide range of instructors, practicing through the museum’s corridors, galleries, courtyard, and café. After, McNamara taught museum visitors to dance in a curious continuation and involution of the teacher-student/performer-spectator relationship.
Images courtesy Works & Process, Guggenheim Museum.