10 for 10th - Memory Lane curated by Che Kothari

Isabel Lewis, 2014
Photo: Joanna Seitz

Suitable for all ages

Project Co-Producer: Art Gallery of Ontario

an occasion hosted by Isabel Lewis, 2014

Isabel Lewis - Berlin, Germany

Performance Installation

Isabel Lewis hosts 'occasions,' which are a celebratory meeting of things, people, plants, music, smells and dances that conjure the ancient Greek symposium, where philosophizing, drinking and the sensuous were inseparable. In the last few years Lewis has been combining the skills of the dancer, the DJ and the orator. Lewis as the dancer becomes a host crafting the atmosphere and attending to her guests, offering stimulus and sociality in a space that is imagined as a kind of indoor garden and meeting place. In an age defined by reason, our habits of thinking shape our bodies and affect our physiology. In this work, dance is used to embody another way of being in the world, a way that begins without the preliminary division of mind and body.

In this new format, sound, smell and touch play as important a role as sight. As the host, Lewis unfolds a dramaturgy specific to each occasion, its guests and their energies that includes dances, smells, music, and address the public in a way that allows for conversation, contemplation, dancing, listening or just simply being. Easing the formalities of distanced observation often found within a theatre or exhibition context, Lewis offers a space of relaxation where the entire human sensorium can be engaged.

Isabel Lewis is an artist of Dominican and American origin who grew up on a suburban island off the coast of southwest Florida. Whilst living in New York, Lewis danced for many choreographers and from 2004 exhibited commissioned works at The Kitchen, Dance Theater Workshop, New Museum and Movement Research at Judson Church, amongst others. Lewis moved to Berlin in 2009. Lewis draws from her training in literary criticism, dance and choreography, as well as popular culture.


Art Gallery of Ontario (Walker Court)

317 Dundas Street West

This project is indoors.