Ligia Lewis: study now steady

September 30, 2023 – February 4, 2024
Center for Art, Research and Alliances

225 West 13th St
New York, NY

Ligia Lewis, study now steady. Image by Liz Ligon

Ligia Lewis, study now steady. Image by Liz Ligon

study now steady, the first solo exhibition of artist and choreographer Ligia Lewis (b. 1983, Santo Domingo; lives and works in Berlin), is on view at CARA through February 4, 2024, presenting one live commission, as well as newly commissioned video work.

In study now steady time loops and bends. Dance, in Lewis’s work, is an exploration of embodiment, an encounter that disrupts linear time, where performers and spectators must attend to the body as both a troubled archive and a polyphonic chorus. An assembly of dancers and performers in shared space construct an alternative temporality where cultural and racial hierarchies are exposed and destabilized, while the question “Is transformation possible?” lingers, unanswered.

Lewis’s performances animate the psychic dimensions of seeing and being seen. She embraces fugitivity in the face of entrenched and seemingly intractable systems of domination. Her choreographic explorations take into consideration the challenges of representation inside the deathly scripts of racialization, so normalized in the everyday, in that which has been made all-too-familiar. Through this embodied struggle, what remains are urgent ruminations on repair, revenge, and the possibilities of other forms of life, beyond that which we know.

The show’s live commission, study now steadyis a series of choreographic studies, exposing the scores and practices that have given form to stage and film works such as minor matter (2016), Still Not Still (2021) , Water Will (in Melody) (2018), and deader than dead (2020). “Dancing,” as Lewis says “[produces] its own theoretical framework, its own set of rules, and its own ethos, coherent to itself.”

Through dark humor and in the form of a critique, Lewis mobilizes embodied activations that act as unrelenting reminders that “ghosts don’t die so easily.”

study now steady is curated by Manuela Moscoso, Executive Director and Chief Curator, with production and exhibition design by Agustin Schang, and curatorial assistance by Marian Chudnovsky.