About this artwork
Elad Lassry’s films and photographs are distinguished by a rigorous formalism and a profound engagement with theories and histories of representation. Eschewing the labels of photographer and filmmaker, Lassry adopts the conceptual conceit of an artist using a camera; he is inspired by picture making in the tradition of practitioners such as Jack Goldstein, whose films, which resemble “moving photographs,” reject narrative altogether. Based in Los Angeles, Lassry creates elegant and economical compositions that take advantage of professional actors, animal trainers, and camera crews—works that at once draw upon and slyly critique the structures and institutions of Hollywood and the art world.
Untitled (Agon) features dancers Megan LeCrone and Ask La Cour of the New York City Ballet performing the last sequence of George Balanchine’s Agon (1957). Lassry’s silent film further abstracts Balanchine’s decidedly modernist choreography by removing Igor Stravinsky’s accompanying musical score. The film begins with a close-up of LeCrone’s face as she internally rehearses the steps she is about to perform on the floor; her subtly shifting eyes and head allude to the body movements to come. Once the couple has completed the pas de deux, the camera hones in on La Cour’s face, and the film comes full circle as he mentally reviews his routine. Using a predetermined visual approach that nods to the work of structural filmmakers such as Michael Snow, Lassry positions his camera according to an instructional diagram from dancer and choreographer Doris Humphrey’s groundbreaking book The Art of Making Dances (1959). As in Zebra and Woman, and many of his other works, the artist explores the function and parameters of portraiture—in this instance, not only of the dancers, but of the dance itself.
Currently Off View
- Contemporary Art
- Elad Lassry
- Untitled (Agon)
- Super 16mm color film, silent; 13:27 min. loop
- Wilson L. Mead Fund; Contemporary Art Discretionary and The Orbit funds