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AMEND: Chris Emile Moves, Heals, and Opens Dialogues in Schindler House

AMEND: Chris Emile Moves, Heals, and Opens Dialogues in Schindler House

Chris Emile is a choreographer, performer, and director based in Los Angeles. He is the co-founder/curator of the movement-based project No)one. Art House. He defines his movement style as improvisation, something that is part of his DNA and his family history. His work oscillates between stage, screen, experiential, and museum worlds. For the exhibition and performance series AMEND, he now moves—literally—within the realm of modern architecture. The event organized with MAK Center for Architecture in Schindler House, the iconic personal home and studio built in 1922 in West Hollywood by the architect Rudolph M. Schindler known for coining the idea of “Space architecture,” was originally set to take place in March, but due to the pandemic was postponed until September 2020. Through movement, Chris re-imagines the Black male identity, addressing specifically how this is portrayed in Los Angeles. The performance raises important questions on the way that architectural space and dance can create non-verbal communications that open new possibilities for dialogue.  

Courtesy MAK Center.

For the exhibition, Emile employs archival and contemporary found footage with artifactual set design to re-render the modern architectural marvel that is the Schindler House into a sacred, private place: a home amenable for Black dealing and healing. An intergenerational cast of three dancers acting as one man moves the audience through the house and through time, working their way through the question: who, if not me, decides what a Black man is?

Ph. Tag Christof. Courtesy MAK Center.

This question, for Emile, opens a debate on the governmental and societal views of Black masculinity, allowing him to explore a softer identity and a vulnerability that comes with neglect and hopelessness. He hopes to provide a space for understanding that opens up a view on how other people live, while at the same time addressing how the body responds to the information around it. Whether it is exploring modern architecture, as in this case, or the changes that we all face in light of the pandemic, the issues that come to light are powerful in the way that a relationship between space, architecture, and movement is able to communicate.

Whether you were lucky enough to reserve a limited spot for the final performances that will take place on the 19th and 26th of September or not, the exhibition is worth thinking about long beyond these dates.

Ph. Tag Christof. Courtesy MAK Center.

PRESENTED BY: The MAK Center and Chris Emile in collaboration with No)one. Art House / LOCATION: Schindler House, 835 N Kings Rd, West Hollywood, CA 90069  /  SUPPORT: This program is presented with the support of an arts grant from the City of West Hollywood and the Foundation for Contemporary Arts / TEXT: Adapted from the press release by NESS / PHOTOS: Tag Christof. Courtesy of MAK Center.

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