Fluent~Collaborative & testsite are pleased to present incubator, a collaboration between visual artist Janine Antoni and choreographer Stephen Petronio that prompts the conversation between sculpture and dance. Curated by Louis Grachos and Andrea Mellard, the presentation at testsite will feature site-specific installations, video work, sculpture, and photography. The exhibition is co-organized by testsite and The Contemporary Austin and opens at testsite on Sunday, May 3rd with a public reception from 4 to 6 pm and an artists-curators talk at 4:30 pm.
incubator includes the artists’ first visual collaboration, Honey Baby (2013), a video of a folding, tumbling body within a honey-filled environment. Since 2013, their projects have integrated sculpture, dance, and their own images to create odd character couplings. Through an aesthetically aligned approach, Antoni and Petronio explore states of physical intensity, unleashing visceral and emotional responses. The artists will continue to blur their body-focused disciplines on a deeper and extended scale in a related, future project within the space of The Contemporary Austin.
Janine Antoni was born in Freeport, Bahamas. She received her BA from Sarah Lawrence College in New York, and earned her MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1989. She has exhibited at the Whitney Museum of American Art, Museum of Modern Art, S.I.T.E. Santa Fe, the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, and the 1993 Venice Biennale, among many others. Antoni is the recipient of several prestigious awards including a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellowship in 1998, the Larry Aldrich Foundation Award in 1999, The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship in 2011, a 2012 Creative Capital Artist Grant and the 2014 Anonymous Was A Woman award.
Stephen Petronio was born in Newark, NJ, and received a BA from Hampshire College in Amherst, MA, where he began his early training in improvisation and dance technique. He was greatly influenced by working with Steve Paxton and was the first male dancer of the Trisha Brown Dance Company (1979 to 1986). For 30 years, Stephen Petronio has honed a unique language of movement that speaks to the intuitive and complex possibilities of the body informed by its shifting cultural context. He has received numerous accolades, including a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, awards from the Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts, an American Choreographer Award, and a New York Dance and Performance “Bessie” Award. He has collaborated with a wide range of artists in many disciplines over his career and holds the integration of multiple forms as fundamental to his creative drive and vision.
Louis Grachos has more than thirty years of experience in the museum field supporting cutting-edge contemporary art. Since January 2013, he has served as the Ernest and Sarah Butler Executive Director at The Contemporary Austin, where he led a successful rebranding of the recently merged AMOA and Arthouse institutions, encapsulating the museum’s mission to reflect the spectrum of contemporary art through exhibitions, commissions, education, and the collection. As Executive Director, Grachos brings ambitious exhibitions and site-specific commissions to The Contemporary Austin as well as diverse and engaging educational and public programming to the city, working collaboratively with Austin’s cultural community. He also led a successful $9 million grant project to embark on a thoughtful and forward-looking landscape master plan for The Contemporary’s Laguna Gloria venue, which will showcase the museum’s unique position as a contemporary art destination with important urban and outdoor sites. Previously, Grachos served as Director of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, New York, from 2003–2012. He has held curatorial and administrative positions at the Americas Society Visual Arts Program, New York; the Queens Museum of Art; the Center for the Fine Arts, Miami; the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego; and SITE Santa Fe.
Andrea Mellard is Director of Public Programs and Community Engagement for The Contemporary Austin. She curates innovative programming that takes advantage of the museum’s two distinct sites—one urban and the other natural. Her Signature Sound Series, Visiting Lectures, and Rooftop Architecture and Design Film Series programs provide platforms for audiences to come together, investigate art, and create new experiences. She curated recent projects with Nick Cave, Sam Green and Yo La Tengo, Lucky Dragons, and Sanford Biggers. Mellard aims to present cultural opportunities for people of all ages that reflect the eclectic and collaborative spirit of the city. She has over 13 years of museum experience, and a M.A. in American Studies from The University of Texas inflects her interdisciplinary approach to contemporary culture.