Tableau Vivant: A Wandering Retrospective

Saturday, November 6, 2010
Julia Street
From 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm

Make sure you’re at Julia Street for 6pm to see the amazing and spectacular Tableau Vivant: A Wandering Retrospective, produced by New Orleans Airlift and guest-curated by Rosie Cooper (UK).  Tableau vivant translates as “living picture”: a group or individual in a carefully arranged pose that is held as still as possible for a period of time.  

From 6pm until around 8:30pm, a total of 9 tableaux vivants will be performed from on top of a flat bed truck which moves up and down Julia Street. Each time the truck makes a stop, a new tableau will be performed.

Tai Shani / Tetragrammaton’s Home in the Abyss: Reduced to 6 /
Performance still, 2008

Amongst the tableaux presented are new works specially conceived for the project by 4 of the most exciting artists working in the UK today - Tai Shani transposes the Orpheus myth to the golden hills of California; Winnie Cott records the first public cinema screening; Anna Barham who presents the shapeshifter Proteus (for four figures); and Audrey Reynolds’ Une Conclusion recreates part of a sequence of pre-arrival.  In addition, the newly formed New Orleans Society for Tableau Vivant present a tableau inspired by the brutal death of Cesar, and the fall of Rome.
Exploring the tableau vivant’s curious state, a live performance that is constantly stuck - often uncomfortably - between stillness and action, this selection of tableaux also charts a tangential history of the form: from a re-creation of The Metamorphosis of Ovid, originally presented in 1878 at one of the Mistick Krewe of Comus’s extravagant tableaux balls, to acclaimed Scottish artist Bruce McLean’s seminal performance work High Up on a Baroque Palazzo(1974) to an excerpt from the Hal an Tow, an ancient Cornish folk tradition that features the epic image of St. George slaying the dragon, and a scene from Satie, Massine and Picasso’s 1924 ballet Mercure - a piece entirely formed of tableaux vivants.

In addition, audience members will receive a special publication to accompany the exhibition.

Tableau Vivant: A Wandering Retrospective is curated by Rosie Cooper (UK), produced byNew Orleans Airlift, and supported by the Arts Council New Orleans.

The show will be repeated on Saturday 13 November from 6pm along St. Claude Avenue. Please see for schedule.

Bruce McLean / High Up on a Baroque Palazzo / Performance still, 1974