Will Rawls

Will Rawls is a New York-based choreographer, performer and writer. His work has appeared at the MoMA and MoMA PS1; MCA, Chicago; Danspace Project; New Museum of Contemporary Art; Issue Project Room; Portland Institute for Contemporary Art; Walker Arts Center. At Danspace Project, he co-curated Lost and Found, comprised of performances and artist projects focused on the intergenerational impact of HIV/AIDS on dancers, women, and people of color. His writing has been published by Artforum International, the Hammer Museum, the Museum of Modern Art. He is a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Robert Rauschenberg Residency and a Foundation for Contemporary Arts grant. He teaches and lectures widely in university, community and festival contexts.

Visiting Artist | September 8 - 20, 2019


Will Rawls will come to MANCC for the first time to further the development of [siccer]. Building from the editorial term for a misspelled word, "[sic]", [siccer] is a dance and film project challenging widespread circulation and representation of black bodies through quotation, memes and photos. An interdisciplinary artist, Rawls uses [siccer] to consider the history of images surrounding black bodies-in-action, the relation of photography and film to fantasies of truth and the appropriation of language across social groups. Simultaneously, he explores the restlessness of gesture and language as strategies of black performance that question the certainty of reproduction and citation. [siccer] cultivates elusiveness and abstraction to resist the "racial gristmill" of mass, social media.

The film portion of [siccer] uses stop-motion film techniques—a meticulous process of photographing objects or people as they incrementally execute poses, gestures and scenarios. After hundreds of photographs are taken, they are then sequenced to produce a likeness to bio-mechanical motion. In this collection of moving images, Rawls questions the labor of  bodies at the moment they are captured on camera, and what happens beyond the frame of the camera lens.

Following an intensive film-making residency in Los Angeles, Rawls and his collaborative team will focus their time at MANCC on development of the movement and language portions of the work. They will be joined by Kemi Adeyemi, Assistant Professor of Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies at the University of Washington, who leads the Black Embodiments Studio, an arts writing incubator and public lecture series rooted in expansive and dynamic investigations of blackness in contemporary art.

Support for Adeyemi’s time at MANCC is provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

  • Photos Coming Soon

Collaborators in Residence: Holland Andrews, keyon gaskin, jess pretty, Katrina Reid, Jeremy Toussaint-Baptiste [Performers], Adekemi Adeyemi [Writer]

NYC Premiere

Jumatatu Poe

Let ‘im Move You
October 9 - 13
Abrons Art Center


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