Location: Floor Three, Susan and John Hess Family Theater
Artist, composer, and singer Jill Kroesen was an essential figure in the 1970s downtown New York performance milieu, working at the intersection of experimental music and then-emerging performance art. With these performances, she invented a space between structuralist theater, graphically-scored musical composition, and cabaret. In the words of performance critic Sally Banes, “condensing political events with soap opera plots and infantile rationalizations about the way the world works,” Kroesen’s “systems portraits,” as she came to call her works, manifested socioeconomic, sexual, and gender politics through funny, ramshackle, and chaotic performances.
After an artistic hiatus of over thirty years, she returns this summer with a new show at the Whitney, Collecting Injustices, Unnecessary Suffering. This theatrical performance features original songs, dance, and the participation of many of her past collaborators—including Jared Bark who designs the show’s sculptural sets, and the costume design is by Mary Kay Stolz. In this new performance, Kroesen articulates, for herself and for her audience, an allegorical work, which animates the structures of parenting, socialization, and control that shape individual lives and collective society. Employing Kroesen’s own unique approach to portraiture, this performance coincides with the Whitney’s collection exhibition Human Interest.
The theatrical environment for Collecting Injustices, Unnecessary Suffering will be on view from 10:30 am–3 pm, July 27–28, and 10:30 am–4 pm, July 29–31, in the Museum’s Hess Theater.
Doors open at 7:30 pm. Tickets are required ($22 adults; $18 members, students, seniors. Friday and Saturday night performances include Museum admission; free for members). Capacity is limited. Visitors are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance. Online ticket sales close two hours before the program begins. Any remaining tickets will be sold at the admissions desk on a first- come, first-served basis. Please note: This event has reached ticketing capacity on Friday and Saturday, July 29 and 30.