Cally Spooner (2016)

It’s hard to miss the performers moving around the New Museum’s lobby in New York. Beyond a glass partition that isolates the gallery from the cafe, a group of twentysomething dancers wearing workout clothes rearrange themselves throughout the day in curious and unpredictable positions. Cafe-goers nearby tend to crane their necks toward the glass to see the action.

Cally Spooner is the brains behind the project, and this show marks her institutional debut in the US. “On False Tears and Outsourcing,” which runs through June 19, is a performance that closely examines human behavior under what the artist describes as an unforgiving rubric of corporate logic.

The performance consists of a rotating cast of a handful of dancers engaged in what Spooner likens to stand-up scrums. “[It’s] a meeting you would use in an agile workplace like advertising or software development,” she explained in an interview with artnet News. She continued, “Employees need to self-organize themselves to produce products that are quite immaterial.”

Spooner describes herself as a director, rather than an artist; and looking back at her previous projects, it’s a role she seems to relish. In her 2013 commission for Performa, Spooner assembled 18 female acapella singers to re-enact events of the contemporary moment. The following year, Spooner hired three opera singers to perform at the High Line.

Read the full segment on artnet News.