Lili Reynaud-Dewar

In Residence: Sep 11 – Nov 13, 2017

Exhibition: Nov 9 – Dec 31, 2017

What spurred your interest in creating this new film in Marfa?
Marfa is very special in the sense that attracts visitors who all come to experience the Chinati and the Judd Foundations. This audience has an impact on the city: it changes its economy, its appearance, its landscape. I think Marfa is really a case study town. It raises questions about the role art plays in gentrification, but also makes me wonder about Donald Judd himself. How did he come to own so many buildings in Marfa? What were his exact intentions? Could he have anticipated the town’s evolution?

What interested me in making this project was not to point out a given situation, or individuals who would be considered “responsible” for this, but to include ourselves (our group of European students and myself, their professor) in this self-critical process, because we too are agents of these transformations and this gentrification.

Why do you choose performance as a means for expression?
I like to think of the body as a tool or a means for resistance. The delirious body, the comical body, the naked body, the dancing body, etc. are powerful ways to oppose normative systems and challenge the codes of the traditional white cube gallery.

While there is no live performance in this exhibition, various performances are visible through the film. Each actor in the film performed at one point: not only for the camera but also for our crew. Even a very restricted and intimate audience, such as the cast and crew of a film, is still an audience. These short performances are key moments in the film.

How do you approach collaboration in your work and how do you rely on others to express your ideas?
I fluctuate between working collaboratively and working independently on certain projects. Recently I started making longer and more elaborate films involving actors and a small production team. These projects bring me back to my early performances where I involved my friends, students, and family. By contrast, in my dance videos I am mostly alone in museums or art centers, and I film everything myself.

It’s more fun to work with a group. I like to work with people whom I view as charismatic, and incorporate their qualities into my art. I ask them not to act differently than they would in “real life.” I don’t necessarily rely on others to express my ideas, but rather channel their ideas and invite them to appropriate mine. It’s a dynamic circulation between all of us. As a filmmaker, I have to rely on others.

As a teacher, I try to involve my students in some of my projects, as I did with creating this film at Artpace. I think these experiences are the best way to learn from each other

How do you intend for the exhibition space to be utilized?
I’d like people to feel comfortable enough to watch the full length of the film, lying down on the carpet. I like to change the texture of exhibition spaces and make them more welcoming and comfortable. Sometimes this comfort might trick people because it’s possible that some scenes in our film would make viewers slightly uncomfortable.

This project is supported by the Cultural Service of the French Embassy in Houston.

A film written by Bianca Benenti, Joana Castilhos,
Yannis Christ, Thomas Le Lann, Trystan Matthey,
Arttu Palmio, Lili Reynaud-Dewar and Claire Van Lubeek

Bianca Benenti
Sandro Canovas
Joana Castilhos
Yannis Christ
Chad Dawkins
Dorothée Dupuis
Heyd Fontenot
Peter Friel
Thomas Le Lann
Trystan Matthey
Arttu Palmio
Lili Reynaud-Dewar
Mireille Rias
Laurent Schmid
Michael Smith
Ida Soulard
Ramaya Tegegne
Claire Van Lubeek
Martha Wilson

Music: Nicolas Murer A.K.A Macon
Director of Photography: Victor Zebo
Sound Engineer: Laurent Schmid
Special Effects (dreams): Hugo Scibetta
Make-up director: Trystan Matthey
Production Assistant: Christine Olenijczak

Editing by Thomas Le Lann, Trystan Matthey,
Arttu Palmio and Lili Reynaud-Dewar

With the support of
HEAD, Haute École d’Art et de Design, Geneva
Ecole Supérieure des Beaux Arts de Nantes




Lili Reynaud-Dewar

Grenoble, France / Geneva, Switzerland

Lili Reynaud-Dewar was born in La Rochelle, France, in 1975 and currently lives and works in Grenoble, France. Her solo exhibitions and projects have been presented at Tate Modern, London (2017), New Museum, New York City (2014), Index, Stockholm (2014); Outpost, Norwich, England (2014); Frieze Projects, London (2013); Le Consortium, Dijon, France (2013); Le Magasin, Grenoble (2012); and Kunsthalle Basel (2010). Her work has also been included in a number of international group exhibitions, including the 12th Lyon Biennial (2013), the Paris Triennial (2012), and the 5th Berlin Biennial (2008), and has been exhibited at venues such as Witte de With, Rotterdam, Netherlands (2014); the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York (2013); and Generali Foundation, Vienna (2012). She cofounded the feminist journal Pétunia with Dorothée Dupuis and Valerie Chartrain in 2011, the same year she also cofounded the experimental school Baba with a group of collaborators; in 2013, she was the recipient of the Prix Fondation d’entreprise Ricard. Since 2010 she has held a professorship at Haute école d’art et de design, Geneva.

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Michael Smith

Austin, Texas, USA

Michael Smith is a performance, video, and installation artist who has exhibited widely at fine art and popular venues, including museums, galleries, theaters, festivals, nightclubs, children’s parties, television, online, and in the street. His work has been shown internationally at Tate Modern and South London Gallery, London; Glasgow International; Mumok, Vienna; Jeu de Paume, Paris; Whitney Museum, Metropolitan Museum, MoMA, New Museum and Greene Naftali Gallery, New York; ICA Philadelphia; and Blanton Museum, Austin. His works are in the collections of MoMA and Paley Center for Media, New York; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis;  Migros Museum, Zurich; Centre Pompidou, Paris; and Centro de Arte Contemporânea Inhotim. Smith has received numerous awards, including fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Center for Advanced Visual Studies at M.I.T., New York Foundation for the Arts, Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation, and Alpert Award in the Arts. He is a Professor in the Department of Art and Art History at the University of Texas at Austin, where he has taught since 2001. Smith lives and works in Austin, TX and Brooklyn, NY.

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