"It is not your duty to finish the work, but neither are you at liberty to neglect it."
Rabbi Tarfon (Pirkei Avot 2:16)
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Join MetLiveArts, in partnership with New York Live Arts, for a unique, site-specific iteration of Taiwanese-American artist Lee Mingwei's durational performance work OUR LABYRINTH. Originally performed at the Taipei Fine Arts Museum and Centre Pompidou, Lee has invited legendary American dancer and choreographer Bill T. Jones to collaborate on a special version specifically for New York City and The Met as a meditation on this moment of instability and profound change.
OUR LABYRINTH is a live performance for an online audience, streamed over three weeks from three Met galleries while the Museum is closed. Each performance features a different cast member, a single dancer who uses a stylized broom to sweep a mound of rice along a labyrinthine path of their choosing. Performing this profoundly spiritual task, the dancer may encounter obstacles along the way but continues to navigate silently and mindfully. Lee conceives of this project as a gift from the performers to the viewers, providing a "pure" space both physically and spiritually. Jones expresses his influence on the work, a respectful conversation with Lee across time and space, through the diverse cast of performers representing the spectrum of New York dance and performance, and in the sonic landscape provided by three experimental vocalists and musicians that echo through the galleries.
From Lee Mingwei: "I conceived OUR LABYRINTH as an embrace between creation and destruction. The current iteration, enriched and empowered by Bill's gift, is an offering to those who ever lived on this sacred land known as Mannahatta, as well as to every artist who collectively and unknowingly created the Metropolitan Museum, Spirit House of Mannahatta."
From Bill T. Jones: "I am honored to be invited to collaborate with Lee on this deeply focused and ecstatic work in the venerable halls of the Metropolitan Museum. The work does not really need my intervention. However, there is profound meaning in doing this work at this particular moment in New York, which has experienced tremendous loss and social upheaval, oscillating between devastation and hope for the future. I am trying to understand what makes this series of performances distinctly New York, and what makes it distinctly New York now."
Wednesday, September 16, 12–4:30 pm
The Great Hall
Ragamuffin (Jesse White)
with Holland Andrews
Wednesday, September 23, 12–4:30 pm
Gallery 206, The Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Asian Art
Brian "HallowDreamz" Henry
with Justin Hicks
Wednesday, September 30, 12–4:30 pm
Gallery 700, The Charles Engelhard Court, The American Wing
with Alicia Hall Moran
The Metropolitan Museum of Art is on the island known as Mannahatta, now called Manhattan in Lenapehoking, the homeland of the Lenape people.
This program is made possible by the Ministry of Culture, R.O.C. (Taiwan) and Taipei Cultural Center in New York, and Jody and John Arnhold. Additional support is provided by the Adrienne Arsht Fund for Resilience through Art.