Choreography by Ana Pi
French-Caribbean artist Julien Creuzet will use choreography, music, and sculpture to explore the collective memory of movements across the Black Atlantic, inspired by the artist’s personal archive of gestures and dances amassed through social media. Co-commissioned by Hartwig Art Foundation, Amsterdam.
Algorithm ocean true blood movesPerforma Commission
In his precarious yet exuberant sculptural environments, the Paris-based artist, filmmaker, and poet Julien Creuzet often delves into centuries-long histories of trade and displacement. His multimedia installations skillfully combine the debris of domestic and industrial life (plastic containers, electric cables, cellphones) with that of the natural world (soil, seashell, wood sticks) — and often, these sculptural ecosystems invoke his childhood home of Martinique, the French Caribbean island at the crossroads of African, European, and Native American civilizations.
Algorithm ocean true blood moves focuses on the muscle memory of movements and gestures that have been passed down through generations of the African diaspora across time and geographies, now reconnected through social media. Over several years, the artist has been constituting a personal archive of moves, gestures, and styles from the Internet, revealing unexpected similarities between steps and physicalities, such as Sudanese clerics moving in squatting positions during a ceremony and American teenagers “duck walking” in the aisles of a supermarket.
This new performance was conceived in collaboration with Brazilian choreographer Ana Pi. It features dancers from the Alvin Ailey School and is performed to the vibrations of Shatta, a new genre of electronic Caribbean dancehall music from Martinique. Algorithm ocean true blood moves translates these movements into a performance that bridges geographical and temporal separations.
Algorithm ocean true blood moves takes place at the Léman Ballroom on Broad Street in Lower Manhattan, historically the site of the original seventeenth-century Dutch settlement. Inaugurated in 1928 as a bank but shut down a year later by the stock market crash, the building encapsulates the hazards of American history. Wrapping around the perimeter of the performance area is a 225-foot-long mural which depicts generations of sailing vessels, including ancient Mediterranean galleys, Spanish and Portuguese Renaissance caravels, and twentieth-century ocean liners.
Curated by Charles Aubin
About Julien Creuzet
Born in the Parisian suburbs, Julien Creuzet (b. 1986) grew up in Martinique and now lives and works in Montreuil. His practice begins with his own lived experience of the Caribbean diaspora, he describes Martinique, as “the heart of [his] imagination” and the visual and aural languages that collide in his installations migrate and transform through a process of creolization, entering into a dialogue with the questions of Black Affirmation and emancipation. He developed a multi-disciplinary practice interweaving poetic, sensory and social forms via amalgams of sculpture, installation, video, sound and textual intervention.
In 2022 & 2023, his work was the subject of an itinerary solo exhibition at the LUMA Foundation, respectively in Arles & Switzerland, titled Orpheus was musing upon braised words, under the light rain of a blazing fog, snakes are deaf and dumb anyway, oblivion buried in the depths of insomnia.
Past solo exhibitions include Camden Arts Centre, 2021, CAN Centre d’art Neuchâtel, Switzerland, 2019, Palais De Tokyo, 2019, and Fondation Ricard, Paris, 2018.
Creuzet has also participated in numerous group exhibitions, including the 35th São Paulo Bienal (BR); 12th Liverpool Biennial (UK); Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (US); Musée Tinguely, Basel, (CH); National Gallery of Prague, (CZ); Wesleyan University Center for the Arts, Middletown, (US); Manifesta 13, Marseille, (FR); Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris (FR); Kampala Biennale (UG); Gwangju Biennale (KR).
In 2021, Creuzet was nominated for the Prix Marcel Duchamp, and in 2019 was the recipient of the Camden Arts Centre Prize at Frieze London.
He will represent France at the 60th Venice Biennale in 2024.
Co-commissioned with the Hartwig Art Foundation, Amsterdam.
Algorithm ocean true blood moves by Julien Creuzet is co-commissioned by Performa and the Hartwig Art Foundation, Amsterdam, with the generous support of Etant donnés Contemporary Art, a program of Villa Albertine, and Andrew Kreps gallery. Major Support of Performa is provided by Ford Foundation, Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature. Performa Biennial 2023 commissions are made possible by the generous support of Performa’s Commissioning Council Members: Yana Peel, Agnes Gund, Lise Stolt-Nielsen, A. Alfred Taubman Foundation, Sarah Arison, Rivka Saker, and Thaddaeus Ropac.
Kamani Abu, Sarah Boyd, Sydnie Cooper, Bette Danganan, DaJuan Foley Jr., Morgan Gregory, and Noel Olson.
Music by Natoxie. Live music by Malou Beauvoir.
Concept, videos, sculptures, and costumes: Julien Creuzet
Choreography: Ana Pi
Julien Creuzet Studio: Scarlett Chaumien (studio coordinator) with artist collaborators Chadine Amghar, Iris Fabre, and Louis Somveille
Video: Emilien Colombier (Motion designer), Timothée Sarran (Sound Design).
Senior Curator and Head of Publications: Charles Aubin
Performa Biennial 2023 Senior Producer: Julia Simpson
Performa 2023 Associate Producer: Josie Bettman