Jimmy Robert : Joie noire

KW Institute For Contemporary Art, Berlin, Germany
19 Jan 2019 - 20 Jan 2019

Jimmy Robert, 2018, research still, Charles James adjusting a black crepe gown on Juan Fernandez, photo by Bill Cunningham in Douglas Crimp, Before Pictures, 2016

Jimmy Robert, 2018, research still, Charles James adjusting a black crepe gown on Juan Fernandez, photo by Bill Cunningham in Douglas Crimp, Before Pictures, 2016

Berlin-based artist Jimmy Robert presents Joie noire, a performance that uses KW as a stage to investigate the worlds of disco and death.

Robert’s new work starts with an examination of two bodies in the context of the history of clubbing, and asks: What is the nature of a body’s visibility? What is the role of desire? What and who remains when the party is over? And how will the show go on? Considering the nightclub as a space of rhythm and sensuality, as well as assessing its potential to host underground celebration, Joie noire dissects elements of club culture. It blocks out the white light of the gallery to embrace the vernacular of the dancefloor, and by this means opens up a critical meditation on the legacy of the 1980s with specific regard to AIDS, activism, gender and race. Joie noire is produced with support from The Hunterian, University of Glasgow, and Tanya Leighton Gallery, Berlin. Thanks to Susanna Kirschnick and Christine Fenzl at gOlab, and Dominic Paterson.

This performance is the first in a three-part Pause series dedicated to the late Ian White (1971–2013) and comprises work by White’s friends and collaborative associates—Jimmy Robert, Emma Hedditch, and Every Ocean Hughes. An artist, performer, curator, teacher and writer based in London and Berlin, White’s work responded critically to the role of institutional infrastructures in the production of art. His work often raised the question how the limits of these infrastructures could be exposed, tested and disrupted through moments of public performance. The 2019 Pause program will explore how White’s legacy continues to influence contemporary performance and durational collaboration. The 2019 Pause series is part of Reflect-Suspend-Dismantle, a year-long program around the work of Ian White, which takes place at various locations in Berlin, and is delivered in collaboration with curator Kirsty Bell, Arsenal Institute for Film and Video Art, DAAD Artists-in-Berlin Program, and the Estate of Ian White.

Jimmy Robert’s multidisciplinary practice encompasses performance, photography and film. His work often explores the politics of spectatorship, reworking canonical and avant-garde performances and hereby challenging their racial and gendered readings. Recent solo exhibitions include Jeu de Paume, Paris (2012); Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, (2012); Power Plant, Toronto, (2013); Museum M, Leuven (2015); La Synagogue De Delme, France (2016); Western Front, Vancouver, and Peer Gallery, London (both in 2017). Robert’s performances have been presented at Tate Britain, London, (2004); MoMA, New York (2014) and Migros Museum, Zurich (2015). Robert’s most recent performance work Imitation of Lives was co-commissioned by Performa17 and the Glass House, and took place in New York in November 2017. Robert lives and works in Berlin.

 – Curator: Mason Leaver-Yap


In the framework of Pause the performance Joie noire takes place on

19 January 19, 8 pm
20 January 19, 8 pm

Please note that the event starts at 8 pm sharp. Admission after this time is not possible.

Admission: 5 € / 3 € reduced


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