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Emily Roysdon

Born 1977 in Easton, Maryland
Lives and works in New York, New York and Stockholm, Sweden

Emily Roysdon explores the intersection of choreography and political action. The photographs on view in 2010 depict two scenes. Three black-and-white photographs picture New York’s Christopher Street Piers, a site of social and political action for the gay rights movement since the 1970s. Roysdon photographed the piers as a way to look for traces of avant-garde activities on the site, imagining and commemorating past events without making any new interventions in the landscape.

On an opposite wall are color images of rows of chairs set in another unmarked urban space. The chairs act as placeholders for an audience, while screenprinted figures create a visual score for a future dance performance. In Impossible Always Arrives (I’m Sorry 1) the figures, arranged within and around the space of the chairs, challenge the traditional divide between the audience and the action on stage. Framing Impossible Always Arrives (bas relief) are figures that resemble a frieze—conveying a historical narrative—similar to those found on classical buildings. The future performance will likewise interpret a historical narrative, but in contrast to monuments, will leave no mark on the site. Taken as a whole, these works are an open-ended exploration into the social transformation and choreographed political action that affects past and future public spaces.

Read about the artist

Artist’s website
—emilyroysdon.com

Art in Review; Ecstatic Resistance
New York Times (December 2009)

Emily Roysdon and Emma Hedditch
Modern Painters (January 2009)

Repetition and Difference
Artforum (Summer 2006; note: registration required)