Choreography 2009

Andrew Ellis Johnson
Gestures 13: July 24, 2009 – January 10, 2010

Choreography presents a choreography of crisis a series of planned situations tossed away as if they were so many unavoidable mistakes The array of...


Choreography presents a choreography of crisis, a series of planned situations tossed away as if they were so many unavoidable mistakes. The array of ‘cultured’ marble banana peels appear strewn 3⁄4 not hewn 3⁄4 on the floor. The imminent future implied by the ‘slapstick’ humor of the pratfall is shown to be the calculated placement of the pitfall. Choreography converts the ‘slip’ into a ‘stumble’. The intractable becomes concrete. A ‘slip’ is accidental, its damage lamentable and victim sympathetic. When it ‘happens’ to someone else, it is comical. Crisis, like physical humor, is based on speed and surprise, necessitating haste and condemning circumspection. Crisis dies with analysis. To ‘stumble’ emphasizes an external obstacle or indicates impaired agency. Stumbling is an event or encounter to be dealt with. It compels a backward look, identifies missteps, and assigns blame. Choreography doesn’t find the now millions of downwardly mobile people, and the economic sleight of hand that has assisted their fall, funny at all. It is a field of injustice.

About the Artist

Andrew Ellis Johnson’s exhibition topics have ranged from the apocalypse to animal nature and disasters of war to the culture of class. Venues for his work have included museums, galleries, electronic arts and video festivals, public collaborations, conferences, books and journals in North and South America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. He is co-founder of the socially engaged collective, PED, that has performed in Buffalo, Belfast, Chongqing, Rio de Janeiro, St. John’s and Tonawanda. Johnson received his BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and his MFA from Carnegie Mellon University where he is Associate Professor of Art.