This is how the Hammer Museum at UCLA described Adam Linder’s 2016 exhibition
In the crafting of carefully arranged dance performances, Adam Linder acts as the choreographic equivalent of a film editor, creating an assemblage of occasions, phrases, postures, and poses. Varied in its approach to style and form, Linder’s work offers insight into a new way of measuring time through live performance. For Linder, the parsing of different dance techniques and types of movement into a singular and cohesive work is a way of evoking the idea of a body in the plural. How, he asks, can an individual performing self inhabit a different register of time and a different notion of being that is profuse and plural rather than singular and universal?
This is a very interesting question to ask in regards to Linder’s work, especially as the focus of his work is always what happens in the moment rather than a performance to be spread around. His work is based on modern dance, and abstraction from a very formalist perspective through which his artists perform actions and tasks. However, their movements, and Linder’s movements which he casually displayed during his lecture, are so deliberately performed that their identities as dancers are unmistakable.
The individuality of the performances is unique, as Some Cleaning exemplified. On Linder’s website he describes ‘Some Cleaning (2013) [as] a Choreographic Service in which a client may contract a subject, based on an hourly rate, to choreographically clean a given location.’ The idea of the performance being a contract almost changes it from the realm of art to the realm of labour itself, despite the fact that the cleaning is symbolic and not literal. This relationship between concept and reality and labour and performance is especially interesting to me.
Overall, in terms of his lecture, I thought Linder’s own examples of his work were engaging and interesting to watch because of his obvious technical skill, but I felt like his concept weren’t fleshed out enough to engage the audience for two hours.