BAM! BAM! BAM! catching the next wave for 20 years
Dancers throw hundreds of red carnations in the air to the sound of fireworks in a production by the German choreographer Pina Bausch. Naked men and women roll across a wall illuminated by projections in a play by the Canadian director Robert Lepage. An airplane lands on stage and Richard Nixon emerges to sing, “News. News. News. It’s a kind of history” in an opera by the American composer John Adams.
These are but three of the striking scenes you will see here in a video installation celebrating the twentieth year of the vanguard Next Wave Festival of the Brooklyn Academy of Music, or BAM. The twenty-eight-minute video consists of brief excerpts from forty-five of the more than two hundred productions presented at the festival since 1983. Featuring the work of such visionary artists as Philip Glass, Lucinda Childs, Robert Wilson, Bill T. Jones, Laurie Anderson, Garth Fagan, Lou Reed, Sankai Juku, and Steve Reich, these excerpts exemplify the kind of risk-taking dance, theater, and opera that have made the Next Wave Festival one of the most acclaimed performing arts events in America.
The installation’s design is meant to reflect the festival’s cutting-edge spirit. Though the video is projected on the ceiling, there’s no need to crane your neck. Just lie on one of the cushioned viewing platforms. And ride the Next Wave.
Exhibition designer and curator
August 8, 2002
The Brooklyn Museum of Art will present a large-scale, multi-channel video and sound installation celebrating the twentieth anniversary of the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Next Wave Festival, which has established the benchmark for avant-garde performances of theater, dance, and opera. BAM! BAM! BAM! Next Wave, designed and curated by Matthew Yokobosky, will be on view at the Museum from October 4, 2002 through January 12, 2003.
BAM! BAM! BAM! Catching the Next Wave for 20 Years is sponsored by Philip Morris Companies Inc., which has supported a wide range of exhibitions at the Brooklyn Museum of Art over the course of more than two decades and has been the leading corporate sponsor of BAM’s Next Wave Festival since its inception in 1983.
The exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum of Art will be presented in the Museum’s twenty-five-foot-high Hall of the Americas. Visitors will enter a floating tent, recline on an oversized viewing platform, and see and hear video selections from the festival’s performances projected overhead. Dynamically edited, rarely seen archival footage from some of the Next Wave Festival’s most memorable performances will comprise a twenty-minute video montage. Included will be clips from Secret Pastures (Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane/Keith Haring), Forward and Reverse (Merce Cunningham/Rei Kawakuba), Songs and Stories from Moby Dick (Laurie Anderson), and Nixon in China (John Adams/Mark Morris/Peter Sellars). The Next Wave Festival is internationally recognized for its commitment to presenting avant-garde dance, theater, and opera. Among the many landmark productions presented over the course of two decades are The Gospel at Colonus (Lee Breuer); The Mahabharata (Peter Brook, Chloe Obolensky, 1987); numerous works by Robert Wilson including his collaborations with Philip Glass (Einstein on the Beach, 1984, 1993), David Byrne (The Forest, 1988), Tom Waits (The Black Rider, 1993), and Lou Reed (Time Rocker, 1997 and POEtry, 2001).
Collaboration is key to both the content of the video projection and the installation as a whole. The partnership created between the Brooklyn Academy of Music and the Brooklyn Museum of Art in developing this presentation represents a collaboration of visual arts and performance. In creating the installation, exhibition designer and curator, Matthew Yokobosky brings performance elements in to a museum setting[.] BAM! BAM! BAM! Catching the Next Wave for 20 Years is intended to be experienced collectively by an audience in the same manner as a theatrical production and to provide a celebratory intersection of the arts.
Philip Morris Companies has been a pioneering supporter of the arts for more than four decades-investing in the cultural vitality of communities in the United States and around the globe. For more information about Philip Morris’ programs and philanthropy, visit the company’s website at www.philipmorris.com/media.