Jimmy Robert Imitation of Lives

The Glass House
November 3, 4, and 5, 2017

In Imitation of Lives, French artist Jimmy Robert occupies the Glass House, turning the modernist icon into a stage for an intimate performance that delves into the intersections of architecture, visibility, and Black representation. 

For this new performance, poetry and music are merged into a “live collage” that includes a new painting by Lucy McKenzie, and references to Harlem Renaissance cabaret singer Jimmie Daniels, who was once romantically involved with architect Philip Johnson; Samuel Beckett’s Quad (1981); David Hammons’ In the Hood (1993); lyrics by Josephine Baker; and texts by Jayne Cortez, Marguerite Duras, Audre Lorde, and Lor enzo Thomas. Robert’s layered performance turns the Glass House into an arena where exposure, representation, and power can be thought anew.

Co-curated by Charles Aubin and Cole Akers
Co-commissioned by Performa and The Glass House for Performa 17. The performance travels to the Gropius Bau, Berlin in 2021.

New York Times