Lucinda Childs, Dancer and Choreographer

One of the leading chorographers and dancers in the United States since the 1960s, Childs established The Lucinda Dance Company in 1973. In 1976 she collaborated with Wilson and the composer Philip Glass on the radical opera production Einstein on the Beach. In this video portrait Wilson presents his long-time friend and artistic collaborator in an elegant, supine pose reminiscent from a scene from the Einstein on the Beach. She lies undisturbed by the strong wind that intermittently encompasses her. The soundtrack features Child repeatedly reading of her own words about the experience of working on the opera.

Exhibited nearby is Anne Ferran’s diptych photograph Scene’s on the Death of Nature I and II 1986, which presents a tableau of young girls on the cusp of adolescence dressed in loose tunics reminiscent of a classical frieze. Their closed eyes, averted gazes and somnolent poses suggest they are in a passive state. Small details, such as their dirty, bitten fingernails and piercings, hint that they will soon be active again and living a contemporary life.

JT Leroy, Writer

The controversial cultural figure JT Leroy was exposed as a literary hoax in 2005. The male alter ego was invented in the 1990s by Laura Albert, who wrote her autobiographical books Sarah and The heart is deceitful above all things in a young male’s voice. The author engaged Savannah Knoop, Albert’s partner’s half-sibling to perform the role of JT Leroy at public readings and events. Wilson’s portrait of Knoop was made at the height of the controversy, with Knoop dressed in a gender-fluid persona in her role as JT Leroy. Laura Albert’s decision to ‘disappear’ herself is conveyed through Lou Reed’s pensive song The vanishing act, with its repeated refrain ‘It must be nice to disappear…’