Bringing the Outside In

Bill Shannon (a.k.a. the "Crutch Master") is a choreographer and dancer who refuses to call himself by either title. Though he needs crutches to move, because of a bilateral hip deformity, this fact has proven itself anything but a disability in relationship to his creativity. The New York-based artist responds largely to the nature of life and change in urban environments and his street-based dance performances-- in which he balances on moving skateboards, maneuvers around concrete steps, and generally gets down-- could put many of the city's legendary b-boys to shame. Through June 15th, the artist has created a multimedia installation in a temporary space in New York's Chinatown. Though Shannon is a highly-regarded performer, he's always made such installations and this former sweatshop provides a perfect platform and social context for further exposure of his efforts to address the inner experience of those roaming the urban outdoors. Entitled "WORK," the installation is organized by Washington, DC-based gallery Douz and Mille and Shannon describes his videos and salvage-based installation as a visualization of a search for balance-- an apt metaphor, given the nature of his performance work. - Marisa Olson

Image: Bill Shannon, Attempts (Video Still, from installation "WORK"), 2008.

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