The Master and Form

Artist: Brendan Fernandes
miscellaneous | Performance view, Graham Foundation, Chicago, IL, 2018. | 2018

Brendan Fernandes’s installation explores the dynamics of mastery and discipline as embodied by ballet. The sculptural installation—comprising five structures that he calls “devices,” ten hanging ropes, and a central cage—is animated at times by a group of dancers. Both assisting and encumbering the performers, the minimalist objects enable poses that test their endurance in overt displays of physical tension and self-control. Even while it may confine them, the structure also offers the dancers a space in which to rest and stretch. Fernandes has likened the project to S&M culture, noting that each places “an emphasis on trust and confidence within a space where roles of mastery and submission are in play.” Costumes: Johanna Davenport Calica Dancers: Hector Cerna Tiffany Em Charles Gowin Violetta Komyshan Josep Maria Monreal Vidal Amy Saunder Mauricio Vera Allison Walsh Jennifer Whalen Tyler Zydel (Image courtesy the artist and Monique Meloche Gallery, Chicago. Photograph by Brendan Leo Merea)


Whitney Biennial 2019 | 2019.05.17 - 2019.09.22 | Whitney Museum of American Art(New York City, NY, United States)