Dance historian Jenefer Johnson provides a historical context for Kilimnik’s video Sleeping Beauty and friends. Co-choreographed with Tom Sapsford for a 2007 London performance, Sleeping Beauty and friends is the realization of Karen Kilimnik’s decades-long dream to choreograph a ballet. The fifty-minute performance begins with the opening scene of the earliest ballet of the group, Bournonville’s La Sylphide (1836), and wending its way through time and costume changes, the mélange ends with the grand finale of Petipa’s Don Quixote (1869).
Emerging in the late-1980s, American artist Karen Kilimnik is a key figure in contemporary art whose work in media ranging from traditional painting to video and live performance has reinvigorated and expanded the lexicon of narrative figuration. She first became known for vignette-littered drawings and sprawling theatrical installation works that reimagine historical figures and times and parallels in contemporary pop culture.
September 12-December 9, 2012, Mills College Art Museum