Grant Recipients Grants to Artists Dance 2001

Dean Moss

A close up portrait of Dean Moss angling his head slightly and smiling in front of a black background.
Photo by Tim Trumble.
  • 2001 Grants to Artists
  • Dance
  • Born Tacoma, WA, 1954
  • Lives in Brooklyn, NY

During this year the new work supplement premiered at Danspace Project to critical acclaim; the 2001 work american deluxe was toured in South Africa; the administrative infrastructure for the work's production was incorporated as a not-for-profit company named Gametophyte Inc... Amazingly, the effects of the grant have extended beyond this past year and into the future...

- Dean Moss, February 16, 2003

Artist Statement

I like science: biology, philosophy, quantum mechanics, stuff like that. I'm not so good socially. I like sex, but people are an acquired taste. I'm aging and think of mortality, of loss. Concepts interest me. Imagery interests me. Activities of falling involve me. I like doing. I like to do all, all at once. It's unconscious and confusing. I make mistakes. I panic. There's a fair amount of pain, physical and otherwise, and bliss...

Like blackfaced Astaire tapping a tattoo to Bill "Bojangles" Robinson while Noam Chomsky questions Cartesian concepts of body and Ginger asks, "How do you like my dress?" She doesn't mean what she says, she means something else, something about bodies and falling and loss and sex and science. She means something about simultaneity and something vaguely sinister, like what Einstein used to call "spooky action at a distance" and I call dancing.

- 2002

Biography

Dean Moss is a dance-based multidisciplinary theater and media artist, curator, and lecturer. His current research investigates perceptions of self and other through transcultural, multimedia performance collaborations that often incorporate audience participation.

With support from his 2001 Grants to Artists award, Moss premiered american deluxe (2001) at Smack Mellon and supplement (2002) at Danspace Project. Moss's collaborations following his 2001 FCPA grant include figures on a field (2005) with the visual artist Laylah Ali, which incorporated a docent led tour of the work during the performance and Kisaeng becomes you (2008-2009) with Korean traditional and modern dance choreographer Yoon Jin Kim, in which audience members were invited to embody the discipline and poetry of kisaeng—artist/courtesans of Korea's Joseon Dynasty. Moss's Nameless forest (2011) was a collaboration with Korean sculptor and installation artist Sungmyung Chun. Referencing Chun's imagery, the performance investigated existential narratives while engaging the audience in experiential rites of passage. Moss also has long ongoing collaborative relationships to writer and director Young Jean Lee and choreographer Yasuko Yokoshi.

johnbrown (2014) uses its presentation and pre-performance production to reflect not only on the controversial legacy of the white abolitionist but also the generational processes at play in the inquiry. A segment of the work was commissioned and presented in-progress under the title Voluntaries by The Museum of Modern Art. johnbrown in its entirety premiered at The Kitchen on October 16, 2014: the 155th anniversary of John Brown's raid on Harper's Ferry. The play featured an original script by Thomas Bradshaw, video performances by Tymberly Canale, Okwui Okpokwasili, Aaron Hodges, and Pete Simpson, and a score by Stephen Vitiello.

Subsequent to his 2001 FCPA award, Moss was honored with Asian Cultural Council Fellowships (2003, 2005), Multi-Art Production Fund Grants (2008, 2009, 2014), Maggie Allesee National Choreographic Center Residencies (2008, 2010), National Dance Project Grant (2010), National Endowment for the Arts Grants (2010, 2011), a New England Foundation for the Arts National Dance Project Grant (2013), a BRIC Arts Media Artist Residency (2014), The Kitchen Artist Residency (2014), a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship (2014), and a Doris Duke Impact Award (2014), among others.Prior to receiving his 2001 Grants to Artists award, Moss had been recognized with a Multi-Art Production Fund Grant (1993), a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in Choreography (1998), and a New York Dance and Performance "Bessie" Award for his work Spooky action at a distance (1999).

Moss came to New York from Tacoma, Washington on a Dance Theater of Harlem scholarship in 1979. He danced with David Gordon for ten years and has had a long relationship with The Kitchen; he served as the Curator of Dance and Performance from 1999 to 2004, then as a Curatorial Advisor through 2009. In 2002, he conceived an emerging choreographers composition workshop that was presented at The Kitchen, where it was facilitated in conjunction with Levi Gonzalez under the title Form & Practice. Additionally Moss was as a Visiting Lecturer in the Department of Visual and Environmental Studies at Harvard University from 2007 to 2009, for which he received a Certificate of Distinction in Teaching from the Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning.

Three performers are in a dark space with a black background and a small tan panel in front of them. The performer on the left puffs their chest out and pulls off their shirt. The performer in the middle wears a white dress and leans their head back and holds their arms up by their shoulders. The performer on the right wears a blue dress and bends down, holding their arms in front of their chest.
Performance still from FCPA-supported supplement, 2002. Photo by Ayumi Tamaki.
Excerpt from FCPA-supported american deluxe, 2001.
Excerpt from FCPA-supported supplement, 2002.
A performer wearing a blue t-shirt and blue jeans leaps within a black background. Their left arm extends fully out behind them and their right arm hangs low at their right side. Their legs are both bent at the knee. A blurred light blue project is beneath them.
Performance still from FCPA-supported american deluxe, 2001. Photo by 2013 grantee Paula Court.
A performer wearing brown pants and a brown shirt lunges forward slightly in a dark space. They hold a screen above their head which projects a black and white image of people in white tank tops facing each other and holding their arms up above their head.
Performance still from FCPA-supported american deluxe, 2001. Photo by 2013 grantee Paula Court.
A black and white image shows a performer wearing a t-shirt and capri pants holding several square mirrors in front of them. They turn their head back, away from the mirrors and towards the camera so that the side of their head is reflected in the mirrors. In the background, there is a small tree rows of theater audience chairs and a person sitting in one of the chairs in the front and looking down.
Performance still from FCPA-supported american deluxe, 2001. Photo by 2013 grantee Paula Court.
A performer wearing a white dress faces the camera and smiles, putting a hand in front of their mouth. The background is all black aside from a blurry projection in the distant background.
Performance still from FCPA-supported supplement, 2001. Photo Ayumi Tamaki.
A performer wearing a white dress appears to be in the middle of running. Both of their arms are held open and bent at the elbow and their legs are bent at the knee, one leg in front of the other. Behind them, a performer lays curled up on the ground. The background is all black except for a blurred turquoise projection.
Performance still from FCPA-supported supplement, 2001. Photo Ayumi Tamaki.
A performer wearing a blue dress holds onto a performer wearing a white dress who is leaning towards the side. The background is all black except for a blurred projection with peach and blue hues.
Performance still from FCPA-supported supplement, 2001. Photo Ayumi Tamaki.
Three performers are in a dark space with blue hued projections in the background. In the foreground, a performer wearing a black top and black shorts balances their body on bricks on top of a pool of water. In the background another performer holds someone upside down.
Performance still from FCPA-supported supplement, 2001. Photo Ayumi Tamaki.
Excerpt from FCPA-supported american deluxe, 2001.