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See Saw, 1960 (2019) : the great indoors

See Saw, 1960 (2019)


Commissioned by MoMA for the exhibition Judson Dance Theater: The Work is Never Done, Will Rawls and Andros Zins-Browne’s remix of Simone Forti’s seminal work, See Saw (1960) employs an object associated with balance to examine issues of power, inequality, and trust. At the time that this work was performed in 2019, the United States was in a fierce debate over the status of immigrants. The policies of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, regarding the separation, detention and expulsion of migrant bodies, including children, created a moment to reflect and respond to ideas of equality- which bodies belong, and which do not, which bodies are valuable, and by whose standards. Using a simple wooden fulcrum and plank, Rawls and Zins-Browne re-purpose the function of a seesaw to be used for division, obstruction, and physical risk. Martita Abril was invited as a co-performer, translating Will and Andros’s conversation into Spanish, acting as an instigator and an unreliable narrator, but also as a figurative fulcrum. In this ‘Domestic Drama’, Rawls and Zins-Browne’s interaction unfolds as something akin to that on a playground: an impossible game with unclear rules and abstract intentions, where the winners often seem arbitrary, and the players risk their lives and bodies in order to play.

Simone Forti
See Saw, 1960
Performance with plywood seesaw
The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Committee on Media and Performance Art Funds, 2015
Interpreted by Will Rawls and Andros Zins-Browne
Performed by Martita Abril, Will Rawls and Andros Zins-Browne
Filmed on January 12, 2019 as part of the exhibition Judson Dance Theater: The Work Is Never Done at The Museum of Modern Art

Photos ©Paula Court

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