FIAF’s Crossing The Line Festival

(Pictured: Raimund Hoghe, Faustin Linyekula, photo credit: Rosa Frank)

The French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF), New York’s premiere French cultural center, announced the program for the fourth annual edition of its acclaimed fall festival Crossing the Line, offering the city a unique and wide-ranging festival full of new ideas and fresh perspectives. Produced in partnership with leading New York cultural institutions, Crossing the Line is a platform for artists from both sides of the Atlantic whose powerful contemporary practices and ideas offer us critical reflections on the world we all inhabit.

In 2010, Crossing the Line will continue to deliver the highest caliber of original work with a specific focus on the artist’s role as a critically important thinker and catalyst for social change. Crossing the Line co-curators Lili Chopra, Artistic Director at FIAF and Simon Dove, Director, Herberger Institute School of Dance at Arizona State University, have focused on key artists whose work is driven by social concerns and an engagement with the policies and practices that affect our lives. The festival will continue to engage with audiences directly through a number of innovative events in public spaces, and the presentation of world-class performances.

“This fourth edition of Crossing the Line will increase and deepen relationships with a range of co-presenting partners, including cultural, academic, and non-governmental organizations and agencies, to stimulate the debate and broaden the discussion of the artists’ ideas and work,” says co-curator Lili Chopra. “Farm City, an evocative journey through the sights, sounds, tastes, and ideas of the Urban Agriculture movement rapidly evolving in Brooklyn will further the impact of the festival by connecting artists’ imaginations with the burgeoning idea of local and sustainable food production,” says co-curator Simon Dove.

Crossing the Line 2010 will bring to New York some of today’s best contemporary artists. Internationally acclaimed artists such as choreographer Jérôme Bel, choreographer/performer Raimund Hoghe, and director Arthur Nauzyciel will return to Crossing the Line to present powerful new works, while others will appear for the first time, such as Vienna-based artist Willi Dorner, sound and visual artist Ryoji Ikeda, choreographer Bouchra Ouizguen, composer Eliane Radigue, and composer/visual artist Richard Garet


New York Premiere of Ryoji Ikeda’s concert and visual installation, datamatics [version 2.0] (2006) co-presented with Japan Society, at FIAF’s Florence Gould Hall, September 10 & 11, at 8pm

datamatics [version 2.0] is an immersive audio-visual project that explores the invisible multi-substance of data that permeates our world. By projecting dynamic computer-generated imagery–in black and white with striking color accents synchronized to a powerful electronic composition–Ikeda’s intense yet minimal graphic renderings of data progress through multiple dimensions to the viewer’s delight. The technical dynamics of datamatics [version 2.0], such as its extremely fast frame rates and variable bit depths, challenge and explore the thresholds of our perceptions and our views on the world. datamatics [version 2.0] will be presented for two nights only.

Ryoji Ikeda’s site-specific installation the transcendental in the FIAF Gallery (2010), September 10-October 16

Ryoji Ikeda will create a special installation designed for the FIAF Gallery using computer generated imagery, projection, and sound. For this solo exhibition, Ikeda proposes a selection of works from his ongoing datamatics series. The selection comprises the recent works the transcendental [no. 3] (2010), the transcendental (e) [no. 2-a] (2009) and the transcendental (e) [no. 2-b] (2009) which individually and collectively address several questions: How many points are there in a line? What is the number of numbers? How can we verify that the random is random?

Arthur Nauzyciel’s Hetero by Denis Lachaud, September 11-14, time and location TBD,

and Daniel Pettrow’s The Sea Museum by Marie Darrieussecq, September 11-12, time and location TBD

FIAF and the Centre Dramatique National Orléans/Loire/Centre (CDN) have begun an exciting new partnership that will kick-off with a presentation of Arthur Nauzyciel’s first production in English of the powerful play, Hetero, written by Denis Lachaud. Daniel Pettrow will offer a reading of Marie Darrieussecq’s engaging play, The Sea Museum.  Both of these accomplished writers, who are currently associate artists at the CDN, offer us stories brimming with fantasy, chaos, hope, and humor. Each of the texts will be translated into English by a different novelist, who will interpret the language and cultural beats of the work according to its genre.

Farm City: Where Are You Growing? (2010), a festival of Urban Agriculture, located throughout sites in Brooklyn, co-curated with Derek Denckla

This project is conceived to introduce the public to the principles, practices, and surprising revelations of rooftop farms, urban homesteading, city beekeeping, and parking lot agriculture, to name a few. Punctuated by artists, farmers, urban planners, citizens, and delicious food, this project illuminates the compelling alternative routes to a sustainable future for urban food. Over three weekends, Farm City will explore the possibilities of our new agrarian future, while examining our current urban reality, through a Farm City Fair, films, a Farm City Tour, and a Farm City Forum to continue the dialogue.

The Farm City Fair features a number of performance events and commissions focused on the senses, including:

Asphalt Orchestra, Brooklyn-based 12-piece next-generation avant-garde marching band, will perform live throughout the day.

Andrew Casner, compost painter, demonstrates his work–the community process of developing a viable compost with an etched canvas created as a by-product.
Wylie Dufresne, renowned chef of wd-50, creates a new downloadable recipe based on re-imagining local ingredients, to be sampled at the Fair.

Mathilde Roussel-Giraudy, a Brooklyn based artist, will present Ca pousse ! (It’s growing!), human form sculptures that change as they grow.

Miwa Koizumi, Brooklyn-based ice cream maker of “NY Flavors,” will create a geographically inspired new ice cream flavor based on Bergen Street and the festival.

Tattfoo Tan, urban farming visionary artist, launches his new bike-based S.O.S mobile Classroom, dubbed S.O.S–Sustainable Organic Stewardship.


•                Farm City Fair at The Invisible Dog and on Bergen Street, Brooklyn, September 12, 11am-5pm

•                Farm City Film at FIAF’s Florence Gould Hall, September 14, 12:30pm, 4pm and 7pm

•                Farm City Tour, various sites throughout Brooklyn, September, 18 and 19, 10am-2pm and 2pm-6pm

•                Farm City Forum in FIAF’s Skyroom, September 25, dialogues at 1pm, 3pm, and 5pm

Matthieu Ricard, Philip Glass and Mark Epstein in a Conversation on Contemplation and Creativity in FIAF’s Florence Gould Hall, September 13, at 7pm

An evening exploring the crossroads between contemplation and artistic practice with best-selling author, photographer and Buddhist monk, Matthieu Ricard, talking with legendary composer and musician Philip Glass, moderated by Mark Epstein, a psychiatrist who has written extensively on Buddhism and psychotherapy.

U.S. Premiere of Raimund Hoghe with Faustin Linyekula in Sans Titre (2009), co-presented with Dance Theater Workshop, at Dance Theater Workshop, September 16-18 at 7:30pm

A unique partnership between the enigmatic German choreographer/performer Raimund Hoghe and the young rising star from Congo, Faustin Linyekula, here as a dancer. This new work by Hoghe premiered in France at the Montpellier dance festival in the summer of 2009. It examines the deeply rooted connections between people across age, culture and geography. Raimund Hoghe makes a welcome return after his highly acclaimed US debut in 2009 with the FIAF coordinated tour of Bolero Variations and L’Après-midi.

Hoghe will also appear at FIAF’s Skyroom for a site-specific performance on September 11, at 6:30pm.

Jérôme Bel’s Cédric Andrieux (2009), co-presented with The Joyce Theater, at The Joyce Theater, September 18 at 8pm & September 19 at 2pm

The incomparable and charming French performance maker returns to Crossing the Line with his latest work which premiered at the Théâtre de la Ville in Paris in the 2009 Festival d’Automne. Created for the French dancer Cédric Andrieux, the piece explores his life as a dancer behind the dances created by such twentieth century luminaries as Trisha Brown and Merce Cunningham, with Jérôme Bel’s own work receiving a wry re-visit too. Spoken in English with performed extracts from these great choreographers, this work, a companion piece to his earlier Véronique Doisneau (2006) created with a Paris Opera Ballet dancer, beautifully opens the world of dance and performance, offering us the human insights of the person behind the iconic images of the work itself.

ECOGRAM III: AFRICA, co-presented with GSAPP at Columbia University, at Avery Hall, Columbia University, September 20 at 6:30pm

The third installment of the ECOGRAM series on sustainability will spotlight Africa in 2010, opening with a panel examining the role and potential of the artist and culture in catalyzing social change, with a focus on socially-based practice, sustainability and the built environment. The panel will feature Crossing the Line dancer and founder of Studios Kabako, Kisangani, DR Congo, Faustin Linyekula, in conversation with scholars and architects. The series is hosted by the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Columbia University.

Screenings of Bertrand Bonello’s On War (De La Guerre) (2008) and My New Picture (2007)

New York Premiere of On War at FIAF’s Florence Gould Hall: September 21 at 12:30pm, 4pm and 7pm

My New Picture at Anthology Film Archives: September 22 at 8pm

Bertrand Bonello’s film On War will be presented at FIAF’s Florence Gould Hall, and his short films My New Picture, Cindy, the Doll is Mine and Where the Boys Are, at Anthology Film Archives. Bonello’s career began in music and each of his works explores the transformative relationship between image and sound. Bonello will introduce the films and take part in Q&A sessions after the screenings, joined by luminaries from the worlds of music and film. The films shown at Anthology Film Archives were commissioned by the Centre National des Arts Plastiques (CNAP).

U.S. Premiere of Bouchra Ouizguen’s Madame Plaza (2009), co-presented with Danspace Project, at FIAF’s Florence Gould Hall, September 22 & 23 at 8pm

Over the course of two nights, Ouizguen and three Aïta singers will present a striking choreo-vocal encounter that addresses the corporal freedom of these singers through their tradition of songs, incantations, and dances. Ouizguen, who was born in Morocco and studied some years in France, brings the unique sensibility of her experience as a soloist in oriental dance and her time with French choreographers Bernado Montet, Mathilde Monnier, and Boris Charmatz to her work. The performances are part of Danspace Project’s Platform 2010: Certain Difficulties, Certain Joy, curated by Trajal Harrell, a featured Crossing the Line 2009 performer.

Richard Garet’s Electrochroma (2010), co-presented with The Invisible Dog Art Center, at The Invisible Dog Art Center, Opening Reception on September 25 from 6-10pm

Sound and visual artist Richard Garet, born in Uruguay, explores aural and visual spatial-contexts, relational structures, process, materiality, function, and form. Garet’s Electrochroma is an audiovisual experiential installation comprised of kinetic light projections derived from processed 16mm film and a multichannel sonic presentation including tones, overtones, textures, and electronic sounds moving through space, generating body and psychoacoustic responses. This work, visually and sonically, was composed and concluded in the digital environment utilizing several softwares to manipulate image and sound.

Eliane Radigue’s Naldjorlak (2008), co-presented with Issue Project Room, at Issue Project Room, September 26 at 6pm

For more than three decades, French composer Eliane Radigue has been a leading figure in the field of electronic music.  Pioneering in both her use of analog synthesizers and aesthetic approach, her work has been championed by many leading cultural institutions in the U.S. and Europe. Since 2004 she has focused exclusively on purely acoustic music. At the center of this output is Naldjorlak, a three-part work composed for and performed by Charles Curtis, Carol Robinson, and Bruno Martinez (cello and basset horns). Monumental in length (2h30) but compelling in nature, Naldjorlak explores a subtle, delicate sound-world fashioned from breath, pulsation, beating, murmurs, and radiant harmonics…

Willi Dorner’s Bodies in Urban Spaces/Lower Manhattan (2010), co-presented with Dancing in the Streets, sites throughout lower Manhattan, September 26 & 27, time TBC

Vienna-based Willi Dorner reveals his fascination with the infinite possibilities of human beings and urban architecture. Accompanied by twenty dancers, Dorner will lead audiences through the main thoroughfares and back allies surrounding Wall Street.  As they walk along narrow cobblestone streets, historic monuments, park benches, global financial institutions, and mom and pop stores, audiences will come across dancers who will have transformed into “human sculptures,” blending into the surrounding architecture and topography.  The performance trail has been determined by Dorner with the goal of intensifying audiences’ experience of the neighborhood and of the dance.

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