Interview with Jasper Johns, 2nd Tape,1991Additional title: Merce Cunningham Dance Foundation Collection
NamesJohns, Jasper, 1930- (Interviewee)Vaughan, David, 1924- (Interviewer)Caplan, Elliot (Interviewer)Caplan, Elliot (Photographer)Caplan, Elliot (Director)
Merce Cunningham Video Archive
Dates / OriginDate Created: 1991Place: Sharon, Massachusetts.
Library locationsJerome Robbins Dance DivisionShelf locator: *MGZIDF 5048
TopicsJohns, Jasper, 1930-PaintingArtistsArtArt, American -- 20th century
NotesContent: Title provided by cataloger, based on original container label and research.Acquisition: Gift; Merce Cunningham Dance Foundation, 2011-2012.Citation/reference: Forms part of the Merce Cunningham Dance Foundation Collection.
Physical DescriptionVideocassetteExtent: 1 videocassette (Video8) (44 min) :sound, color ; 8mm
DescriptionAn interview with artist Jasper Johns, conducted by Merce Cunningham Dance Foundation archivist David Vaughan and filmmaker Elliot Caplan. Johns, who served as the Merce Cunningham Dance Companys artistic advisor from 1966 through 1980, and continued afterwards to consult on design ideas. Johns is heard off screen for several minutes into the material, while the camera focuses in turn on the view outside a window and inside what appears to be Johns workspace or studio, as shots include several of his works. The artist himself is first seen on a monitor. Johns begins by pointing out that he seldom receives any instruction when he is sent the music and other elements for a new Cunningham piece, and is asked if he finds any difficulty working this way in light of the fact that some of the works carry a particularly high degree of challenge. He then speaks about how he incorporates music into his process as he paints (1:55). He is then asked why he feels that audiences sometimes have a problem connecting to John Cages music, often used in Cunningham works (2:20). Johns then discusses newer dancers whose work he has recently seen, as well as his views on dancers who have been influenced directly by Cunninghams work (6:10). He discusses the camaraderie and closeness found in earlier years, when Cage lived near to Johns residence, and Cunningham and other members of their artistic circle were frequently around, and the ways in which this has changed over time (12:50). Johns, Caplan and Vaughan then have a free-flowing discussion of the facets of Merce Cunninghams onstage presence which evoke aspects of theatrical acting rather than pure dance (18:20). Johns then discusses his experiences with Buckminster Fuller (21:00). He then discusses the level of public recognition which Cunningham enjoys (23:15). A discussion of his initial reactions when first encountering Cunninghams work follows, which morphs into a consideration of the emotional difficulties affecting the company as a whole and Merce Cunningham as an individual for much of the troupes history, due to limited opportunities for performance and resistant audiences. (27:18). During a setup break, we then see Caplan and Vaughan in hushed consultation regarding the shape that the remainder of the interview should take (31:25). They then discuss the affinities between some of Johns works and certain Cunningham pieces (38:15). The first part of this interview may be found under *MGZIDF 5053.
Type of ResourceMoving image
IdentifiersRLIN/OCLC: 950971794NYPL catalog ID (B-number): b20970135Universal Unique Identifier (UUID): 96025070-2d7a-0137-8017-099dd62170f4
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