SCREENING ROOM, OR, THE RETURN OF ANDREA KLEINE
After having continually made performance work since the early 1990s, in 2002 I stopped performing for a variety of reasons. With a few exceptions, I also stopped creating performances. Invited by The Chocolate Factory to return, I was confronted with my own absence, disappearance and negation.
“Screening Room…” begins as a re-imagination of an episode of Screening Room, a 1970s talk show about film. The particular episode I used featured choreographer/filmmaker Yvonne Rainer and her 1976 film Kristina Talking Pictures. The piece transforms as “Andrea Kleine,” the performance artist suffering from stage anxiety and agoraphobia (and also portraying Rainer) as she integrates herself into the 1970s interview and becomes a new character in Rainer’s film, thus changing the story of the film and the direction of the interview. The piece becomes an exploration of the conflicted relationship of performer to performance through a hybrid of dance, theater, television, documentary and group experience illuminating the intersections of fiction and autobiography.
“Screening Room…” is the third project in a series of pieces exploring re-enactment. “Memoir” (2010) re-created my 1999 piece “Memoir Never Was” with the original dancers/actors performing remotely from their homes over video-chat. “Rationality” (2011) was a re-enactment of a 1992 live call-in cable-access philosophy TV show re-staged in my apartment. “Screening Room…,” marked my return to the traditional performance stage/venue after more than a decade. Unlike the other works in the series, “Screening Room…,” (although it used part of a verbatim TV interview) was tasked with defining itself. As both performer and subject, I am all but forgotten by the performance community. By using Yvonne Rainer as a device/mask, I not only (re)placed myself within the continuum of dance history, but also within another person who shed dance for other art forms, as well as within a past era when things were not obsessively documented, which in part allowed me to disappear. Can performance ever truly be documented? Can a life truly be documented? Who are we? Where are we going?