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Xavier Cha: Body Drama

June 30–Oct 9, 2011

New York–based artist Xavier Cha incorporates video and installation in performances that play with multiple perspectives and deferred access, reflecting our fractured contemporary experience. For her new work Body Drama, Cha transforms the gallery into a mysterious setting in which an actor performs while wearing a body-mounted camera. In between performances the resulting footage is projected on the wall, offering viewers two versions of the same experience, both of which center on disorienting psychological and physical space.

Xavier Cha was born in Los Angeles, CA, in 1980; she currently lives and works in New York, NY. Cha received her B.F.A. from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2002 and her M.F.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2004. Her performance-based work has been shown in solo exhibitions at the Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis (Two-Way Mirror, 2010) and Taxter & Spengemann Gallery, New York (The Third I, 2009, Voicedoor, 2008, and Holiday Cruise!, 2006). Group exhibitions include The Absolutely Other, 2010, The Kitchen, New York; Convention, 2009, Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami; and In Practice, 2006, The Sculpture Center, Long Island City.
Xavier Cha: Body Drama is organized by senior curatorial assistant Diana Kamin.

Read an essay about the exhibition by Diana Kamin.


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Performance artist Xavier Cha invites actors to become her collaborators in Body Drama, a work that oscillates between live performance and projected video, which was conceived for the Whitney’s Anne & Joel Ehrenkranz Lobby Gallery. Several times a day, an actor will perform a twenty-minute scene while wearing a specialty body-mounted camera trained on the actor’s face as he or she moves through the gallery. Cha’s directions to the actor are to project the internal experience of terror, alienation, and a sense of being deeply disturbed by the surroundings. Cha has selected eleven actors for the exhibition, and each one interprets the abstract instructions differently.

Performances begin every hour on the hour starting at 12 pm on Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday, and at 3 pm on Friday through the run of the exhibition. Performances last twenty minutes.