Making Time at Human Resources: Brennan Gerard

Coinciding with the annual meeting of the College Art Association in Los Angeles, The Arts Research Center at UC Berkeley is hosting the offsite working session “Making Time at Human Resources” on February 22, 2012. Participants have been invited to post some brief thoughts on the topic in advance of the event. This guest posting is by UCLA student and artist, Brennan Gerard.

The past five years have witnessed the explosion of dance in an art context. Major exhibitions exploring the relationship of dance and the visual arts have been mounted at the Museum of Modern Art (2010), Institute of Contemporary Art Boston (2011), Hayward Gallery (2011), and the Centre Pompidou (2012), while choreographers have been the subject of solo shows as well as articles and monographs in visual art publications.  Contemporary artists increasingly incorporate dance, dancers, and choreography in their practices (witness the 2010 and upcoming editions of the Whitney Biennial), and prominent art historians have directed their criticism and scholarship to include dance. Such examples evidence an expanding institutional interest and investment in producing, historicizing, and collecting dance-based work.  This phenomenon is not simply, or not only, one of appropriation by the art world of an external, or adjacent, discourse.  As much as dance may appear to be a new object of fascination in art, dancers and choreographers have also been moved to present and insert their work in museums, galleries, and art schools. 
What are the stakes of this dance/art interface?  What is the potential for loss and gain?  What are the historical precedents for this current phenomenon?  How might dance transform art institutions and collections from within, and how will the art “world” transform the dance “community?”  
Collaborating since 2003, Brennan Gerard and Ryan Kelly approach art as a series of experiments to work through questions of spectatorship, desire, and the formation of political consciousness.  Recent projects—combining performance, choreography, text, sound, and video—are often site-specific and reflect their shared interest in the legacy and politics of Minimalism and post-modern dance filtered through social and psychological structures.
Gerard and Kelly recently completed the Whitney Independent Study Program (2010), where they received the Van Lier Fellowship, and are currently pursuing MFAs in the Interdisciplinary Studio program at the University of California, Los Angeles (2013).  Gerard received a BA from Yale University (2001), and Kelly was a dancer with New York City Ballet, receiving a BA from Fordham University (2008).  Their collaborative work has been shown in New York at Danspace Project, Art in General, Park Avenue Armory, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum’s Works & Process, The Kitchen, Volta Art Fair, and Whitney Museum of American as well as at Greenwich Music Festival (Greenwich, CT), Jacob’s Pillow (Beckett, MA), Mount Tremper Arts (Phoenecia, NY), Renaissance Society (Chicago), and University Art Gallery at University of California, Irvine, among other prestigious institutions.  Their work has been shown internationally at Carpe Diem Arte e Pesquisa (Lisbon), Maastricht Toneelstad Festival (Netherlands), and Studio 303 (Montréal). 
Gerard and Kelly are the founders of Moving Theater.  Their writing has been published in The Brooklyn RailPAJ, and Box of Books, Vol. IV.  More information and blog at