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Robert Whitman Performances “Prune Flat” (1965) and “Swim” (2015) at Fridman Gallery December 15 – 17

Fridman Gallery
287 Spring Street
New York, NY 10013
December 15 – 17, 2016
8 PM

Fridman Gallery, in cooperation with Dia Art Foundation and Julie Martin, Director of Experiments in Art and Technology, presents a rare restaging of Robert Whitman’s 1965 classic Prune Flat, and excerpts from one of his newest works – “Swim” (2015).

“Prune Flat” (1965) was conceived specifically for a proscenium stage, and combines performers, film and evocative props. Large film images envelop and flatten performers, who then appear in full three-dimensionality on the stage, echoing the actions they perform in the film. When a third performer coincides with the film that is projected on her, the line between film and reality dissolves in a magical sequence of images. Prune Flat was first presented at the Expanded Film Festival at the Filmmakers Cinematheque in New York in December 1965; and from May to August 1966 it ran each weekend at the Circle in the Square. The work is in the permanent collections of Centre Georges Pompidou and Dia Art Foundation.

“Swim” (2015) was created at the invitation of Peak Performances, at Montclair State University, for both blind and sighted audience members, with sights, sounds and even smells of everyday experiences and familiar objects transported to the stage to create a flow of images that resonated with both audiences. In Swim, multiple actions and events – both live and recorded – take place at the same time and in several different places in the theater. There is no one fixed way to experience the work, and according to Whitman, “Each person comes away with his or her own personal experience of the piece.” In the more intimate setting of the gallery space, Whitman will present excerpts from “Swim”.