Countdown to Gala 2017, Day 7: Excerpts from Issue #45 of the Movement Research Performance Journal

The 2017 Movement Research Gala on May 8 will celebrate 25 years of Movement Research at the Judson Church and 50 Issues of the Movement Research Performance Journal. As we count down the days until the Gala, we’re posting #50DaysOfMRPJ with Editor’s Notes and excerpts from each Performance Journal.

Movement Research Performance Journal Issue #45 was released in Fall 2014. You can view the full Table of Contents here.

*The Movement Research Gala will take place Monday, May 8 at 6pm at Judson Memorial Church. For more information, to volunteer or to purchase tickets, click here.

#MRGala2017 #50DaysOfMRPJ

MRPJ#45: My Barbarian

Editor’s Note

Editor-in-Chief: Moriah Evans
Senior Editor: Buck Wanner
Managing Editor: Rebecca Wender
Cover Artist Portfolio Editor: Matthew Lyons

Dear Readers,

By the time the journal is ready to go to print, I am excited and exhausted, full of anticipation, and at a loss for what to say about the issue. I could offer you a riddle. I could emphasize that you should dig in, get cozy with and debate all the articles and artists in this issue with yourself, friends and enemies. I could send praises to all the fantastic people who work tirelessly to bring this issue to your hands, eyes, hearts and brains. I could summarize and thematize articles for your perusal. I could do so many things!

But alas, although I often have so many impassioned things to say and have no shortage of thoughts and opinions, by the time I write this note, I am at a loss for words. And so, I leave it to the other voices within these pages.

This is our largest journal yet (sixty pages)! We have a sheer panoply of voices, points of view, and modes of practicing per- formance that butt up and against each other, co-join, contradict, and support one another. In this vein, the decision to feature My Barbarian marks the rst time the journal has featured a collective for the cover artist portfolio. How does a collective interact with the “cover artist” template that the magazine format of the journal has sought to utilize and challenge? And how do their polyphonous conversations mirror what is emerging in this issue’s other content? Amongst this polyphony, the collective body of artists within our community inevitably share power, forms of expression, and decision-making processes.

As always, thanks to the team for this issue — Buck Wanner, Conor Creaney, David Knowles, Matthew Lyons, Rebecca Wender, and Trajal Harrell.

We hope this issue keeps you engrossed and occupied until the next one comes out this Spring.

All the best,


Dear Readers,

I was pleased to accept the invitation to edit a portfolio on My Barbarian for the journal, having followed their work for about ten years. At the time when I first heard about what they were doing in LA from where I was in New York, it was the early days of YouTube and I remember some of their music videos appeared there: Unicorns L.A. and also one I believe was about the squirrels in Griffith Park. They of course have gone on to perform and exhibit their work all around the world, including their recent participation in the 2014 Whitney Biennial in which they tackled the Brecht play The Mother.

For this portfolio, one of the throwback moments comes from a text by LACMA curator Rita Gonzalez that appeared in a now hard to nd Italian art magazine in 2008 when the group were in Italy doing one of their Post-Living Ante-Action Theater (PoLAAT) workshop performances, and My Barbarian have also dug through several hard drives and vintage operating systems to find the early images reproduced from their archive. For a current perspective, we commissioned curator Ryan Inouye to write a new text which he has titled “Mandate to Participate.” And for the portfolio’s interview section, we decided to invite five peer artists to craft questions to which Jade, Malik, and Alex responded individually. Finally, the group was happy to reproduce in full for the first time one of their performance scripts; they chose the 2005 piece called You Were Born Poor & Poor You Will Die. Enjoy!

Matthew Lyons