Event

A Benefit for Triple Canopy, Honoring Ralph Lemon

A Better Meditation
by Ralph Lemon

Lemon reflects on the making of On Value at Triple Canopy’s 2015 benefit.

On September 10, 2012, I received an email from Lizzie Feidelson inviting me to do a project with Triple Canopy, “an editorial collective and curatorial platform that works together on a number of publishing projects, primarily an online magazine,” as she described it. I had never heard of Triple Canopy.

I went online, checked it out. It was nice to look at, I thought at the time.

Lizzie continued, “Or perhaps you’d be interested in working on a written piece that transcends the limitations of a book, integrating other media. We would also be enthusiastic about facilitating a live work that becomes the basis (or is the outcome) of an online project.”

Wow. That would be ambitious, I thought.

I wrote back, “Dear Lizzie! I’m quite interested! Traveling at the moment but will touch base again next week.”

I had a few meetings with Lizzie and Alexander Provan. They were as young and smart as I had imagined. These meetings took place near the end of Some sweet day at MoMA and near the beginning of the Value Talks, my subsequent Annenberg residency there.

But I was also a little reluctant. Given my own proclivities for polyvalence, I couldn’t quite focus on what working with them would actually mean, got a little dizzy in my own head, like maybe we would cancel each other out.

And then I figured out the karmic request. A book, a simple, analog, old-fashioned book, transcribing, refracting, expanding, destabilizing, rumorizing, disseminating, or to quote Alexander, “circulating” this seemingly private and rather ungenerous Value Talks platform, making it more generous.

I thought, well, if they are interested in something perhaps technologically redundant then this could be good, useful. We morphed an agreement (that of course evolved) and ultimately made an old-fashioned and super complex book, involving the “performance essays/talks” (a few friends) and the respondents to the talks (more friends), we also included some artwork. Everyone working for maybe a penny a page.

And Triple Canopy got to EDIT! When the real fireworks began! TC is nothing if not relentless in their editing criteria. Bold, specific, ambitious, assertive, thorough, sometimes assaulting …

I of course received lots of concerned emails and calls from my friends! “Activist editors!” At first I thought that that sounded cool, coming from a sometimes-activist choreographer. (Projected descriptions can inspire, at least instigate.) But I also know that I write because of how it makes me feel, not because of what it ultimately means to someone else. A generative literary problem. Triple Canopy is the flip side to this kind of (elliptical) privacy. Making sense is crucial. And I kept chanting (mostly to myself) that this literary war/debate about the meaning of a few words would make a good book.

C’est la guerre.

We made a beautiful book.

And my friends are still my friends.

I like the Triple Canopy folk. New friends. They are not activists, not really. They care deeply about what they are doing, work very hard at it. And they are very good studies, the magnificent learning curve involved in any collaboration. Maybe Triple Canopy is, at best, a remarkable learning curve.

Thank you Lizzie, Alexander, Peter, Bidita, Lucy, Franklin, Caleb, and all the rest of the TC staff involved in this collaboration. And of course, Kathy Halbreich, Glenn Lowry, and Stuart Comer for inviting me back to play in MoMA, the Value Talks, and Ana Janevski for helping to organize the whole thing, the whole thing, a laborious and precise work; Boris Charmatz, Simone Forti, Kellie Jones, Sarah Michelson, Claire Bishop, Glenn Ligon, Claudia La Rocco, Adrienne Edwards, Thomas Lax, David Velasco, Adam Pendleton, Paula Court, Philip Bither, Nari Ward, and Will Rawls, thank all of you, for saying yes—thanks for this almost freebie.

I also want to thank all my brilliant friends who wrote and made art for the event: Kevin Beasley, Nicole Eisenman, Sharon Hayes, Glenn Ligon, Brent Edwards, Lizzie Feidelson, Malik Gaines, James Hannaham, Jenn Joy, and Okwui Okpokwasili.

This evening is very humbling. I am grateful.

I’d like to end with a quote and some writing edited out of my essay. (The nice thing about a live event, one gets the last word, unedited):

“All values must remain vulnerable and those that do not are dead.” —Gaston Bachelard

And, I would add, dead and potentially very violent.

With all the crazy stuff happening in the world today, yesterday, thinking about value seems a good meditation. A kind of inexplicable ingredient to human nature, the potential structured “morality” of its many concerns. It is also quite dangerous most of the time.

Perhaps a timely and useful consideration would be a value beyond estimation, the “invaluable,” taking a cue from Fred Moten. An even better meditation, I would propose.

Lemon’s Ralphabet
by Anne Carson and Robert Currie

A recitation of “Lemon’s Ralphabet” in honor of Ralph Lemon on the occasion of Triple Canopy’s 2015 benefit.

Reflections on Scaffold Room
by Brent Hayes Edwards, Lizzie Feidelson, Malik Gaines, James Hannaham, Jenn Joy, and Okwui Okpokwasili

Six writers and performers respond to an architectonic performance.

Brent Hayes Edwards
Scaffold Room (Sweet Rind Remix)

1.

The soundtrack Miles Davis recorded for the 1958 Louis Malle film Ascenseur pour l’échafaud (rendered alternately as Elevator to the Gallows and Lift to the Scaffold) is a threadbare affair, an open-frame architecture of little modal sketches about two minutes each. Spare motifs muffled by a Harmon mute, there is a careful disorderliness to them. Hardly even kernels of ideas, they are more hints of a mood, smoke dissipating into the air. No score, just what the producer Marcel Romano called des bribes de thèmes Miles had composed nonchalantly at the piano in his hotel room beforehand. In the studio, scenes were projected as the band played, and they strove to intuit a counterpoint to silent images of botched crime. Bribes: scraps, morsels, snatches. Boris Vian notes that there is an odd sonority to Miles’s trumpet on the tune “Dîner au motel,” caused when a tiny piece of his lip tore off, stuck to his mouthpiece. Imagine you can hear it. A buzz amid the quicksilver, the wheeze of getting too intimate with your instrument. Imagine you can hear the taste of blood.

2.

We peer out of darkness into the blinding illumination of a graphic reading room. The everyday roar of misogyny. All that dripping swagoo. What’s disturbing, Fred says, isn’t just that there can be such music in the language of violation, but the possibility that all lyricism is tainted by its proximity to brutality. Can anything slip this framework? If not in the narrative—“A pimp is happy when his whores giggle. He knows they are still asleep”—then perhaps in the paratext. After all, why a glossary for the autobiography of a pimp? The glossary isn’t just an elucidated lexicon, vernacular translated to standard or juridical (“BANG, inspection of narcotics”; “SHAKE, extort”), but something more peculiar: a catafalque of indistinct idioms humming with implication as they touch (“CAN, derriere”; “SNATCH, poontang”). A generative matrix, then—she don’t stop—that gets unruly, won’t be whipped into rectilinear channels of correspondence. Leftovers, leavings, shhh always something to song.

3.

Not accumulation, but erasure creates a myth. Not even a photo remains of Buddy Bottley, the silver-lamé-suit-wearing “colored Aeronaut” who dazzled crowds with his balloon ascents in Lincoln Park. He wasn’t even the first Buddy in New Orleans: That was Bolden, the tempestuous cornet player and champion ladies’ man. Thousands would come out for their Sunday-evening apotheosis: while Bolden’s band played a hymn—You got wings, I got wings, all God’s chilluns got wings— Bottley would solemnly strap himself into a harness below the hot-air contraption. When the fire made the fabric swell and rise, the people cheered and Bolden would segue to gutter sounds as Bottley lurched aloft: “Melpomene Street Blues,” “Pay to Come,” “The Bucket’s Got a Hole in It,” “Funky Butt.” One week a cute girl named Annie Jones won the dance concert and was allowed to go up in the balloon. You scared? Bottley asked. I may be young but I’m ready, she replied. But when she took flight, she forgot to pull the cord to let the air out and the balloon floated up and away. The crowd screamed as it drifted out of sight. But the girl seemed unperturbed as she looked down; later some even said her expression held a sort of rapture. They never found her.

Lizzie Feidelson

Over the past few years, Ralph and I have exchanged probably hundreds of emails about the particulars of editing a book together for Triple Canopy, during which time he’s never expressed anything but affection, enthusiasm, and spectacular care for everyone he knows. We’ve seen each other in person very rarely. When we weren’t emailing, I knew, we were both in rehearsal—I for various dance performances, he for the work that would become Scaffold Room. Sometimes he’d mention this. “Funny to think of you dancing while you’re ensconced with all the On Value stuff,” he once wrote.

Scaffold Room, when I finally saw it, was as generous, intense, and carefully articulate as I’ve come to know Ralph to be. Like much of his work, it was moving in part because of its warmth, which seemed to be emanating directly from him somehow, though he was never onstage. Instead, there was Okwui Okpokwasili and April Matthis, channeling Bad Brains, Amy Winehouse, Beyoncé, a man called Peter, a certain famous choreographer—“that Brit”—and of course, Walter Carter, Edna Carter, Kathy Acker, and Andrei Tarkovsky, a density of references and voices, stories becoming porous and disentangled from their original source. As she spoke, Okwui’s body often remained rivetingly still, her virtuosic voice hushed at first, then shouting, and then silvery, never so much as twitching a finger. I don’t think I blinked for the first twenty minutes.

Later, as Okwui made her way from the stage to the back of the theater, I twisted around to see what Ralph was doing. The first time I met him, I was struck by his ability to be suddenly and perfectly still, eyes serious and jaw slack. I wondered if he’d watch his dance like that. But I caught sight of him with arms closed tightly over his chest, mouth working and twisting with seeming pleasure. After the show, I went to hug him. He greeted me with a very deep bow. I wrote him an email the next day to thank him, barely knowing how to express how much the work had moved me. He responded minutes later. “Yikes!” he wrote. “Thanks!!! A strange cosmic world/work it is.”

Malik Gaines
Close-up / Trio Dance

I remember holding her breakthrough album, holding it in my hands, in my car, listening to it on repeat. To me she was this untouchable goddess. And when I met her, I really really wasn’t expecting her to just be like me. I feel like we’re so similar. —Sam Smith on Mary J. Blige

Scaffold Room is an empty event space and the event is being a person, but the scaffold is the only armature on which to hang anything person-like. Subjectivity stretches across it, folded over, twisted, projected onto, translucent, oblique. Performers play persons pieced together from life and its imitations: allusion, critique, hairstyle, a few available gestures, a claim for a desire to be fucked, a twice-told Beyoncé song. The person is a text reading a text.

Cultural theorist Hortense Spillers has asked what blackness might do with psychoanalytic terms when the terms don’t apply. Everything from consciousness (double, trio-dance, Four Women) to law (who’s your daddy?) is negated, or inverted, or multiplied by the social. The psychic location of “the subject” is inconsistent under these conditions, and is better described by Spillers as a kind of “interior intersubjectivity.” This is a place where texts read each other through each other. In Scaffold Room, this is the place from which Okwui Okpokwasili and April Matthis perform, as themselves, as Ralph Lemon, as Henry Miller or Kathy Acker, as operators hanging up on the South, as bodies in a big black box, as each other.

Malik Gaines: 7/5/12 4:41pm re: Some Sweet Day I woke up today thinking about ‘black music’ via that number in Dreamgirls: the singers make their first minor hit that is then redone, smoothed out, slowed down, and made into a major hit by some white group. Ridiculous but somehow accurate...

Ralph Lemon: 7/5/12 6:19pm re: Some Sweet Day oh yeah, and even beyoncé and jz have no idea how soft and impotent the music becomes...

I was told that I had been quoted in Scaffold Room and I waited to hear my words read back to me, not sure I would recognize them, but of course I did. I perched myself on a pile of platforms that usually hold up the Kitchen’s audience, but which had been stacked unassembled in a corner. I sat next to a dancer friend and other dancers were there, though dance was loosely configured among the formal intensities of this performance, until the end, when the rear doors flung open and an athletic jazzy vogue-y unison trio appeared in the lobby to the delight of all. The performance took its time to get there, unfolding through the riveting voices and restrained movements of its brilliant tandem solo performers, sometimes accompanied by vertical projections that offered magical and mundane scenes from a parallel life. The dispersal from author to protagonists to videos of another world to the dance chorus accompanied by an artist DJ mixing Amy Winehouse into house externalized an interior subjectivity as an event, the event being a person, a person having so many genders, the gender being black, the black box blacker and boxier than ever. In the beginning, when we see, in close-up on the projection screen, Okpokwasili’s face crying and crying and crying, we know the expression is an act, and the act is as real as it gets.

James Hannaham
Boning

I thought that the only appropriate reaction to Ralph Lemon’s mashup of Beyoncé and Kathy Acker, _Scaffold Room, was to try to give Ralph a heart attack. So I envisioned a sexually explicit song to be sung by one of the downtown Beyoncés he employed, Okwui Okpokwasili and/or April Matthis. Here, then, I offer “Boning”; feel free to imagine the music in the style of Nicki Minaj or Azealia Banks. I recommend that you play a dub version of one of their songs and sing these lyrics over it with as much sass and verve as you can muster._

We’re boning, we’re boning
We’re moaning and groaning
My bells are ringing and I know it’s
you that’s phoning
We’re boning, we’re boning
We’re moaning and groaning
I’ve got high interest and I’ll take
what you’re loaning

We’re lying down
And I’m tryna slip your pants off
Gonna put my foot between your
Legs and step down on the crotch
That still don’t work
So I ask you raise your hips up
That don’t work either
And then the left side of the bed
flips up

At last we’re nude
But now I’m smelling something
weird
Is that me or you?
Or has a wildebeest appeared?
But that smell fades
And at last you’re chowing
On my box
Wait—did someone just come in?
Don’t motherfuckers ever knock?

We’re boning, we’re boning
We’re moaning and groaning
I’ll teach you skills you’ll be happy
to be honing
We’re boning, we’re boning
We’re moaning and groaning
I’m mapping out your body gonna
do some rezoning

You got your tongue
Deep inside my crack
I’m not quite sure
How much I’m enjoying that
But what the fuck
We’re in a certain mood
I’d rather go along
To make you stop would risk
destroying that

I’ve got a pubic hair
Stuck between my teeth
I hope you’ve got some dental floss
To give me some relief
And while you’re up
Could you go get the lube
It’s in that squeeze bottle
Don’t be handing me no
toothpaste tube!

Concentrate! Don’t be thinkin’
’bout your workplace!
Copulate! Stop making such a
jerk face!
Concentrate! Don’t be thinkin’
’bout yo student debt!
Copulate! Your damn anxiety
don’t get me wet!

We’re boning, we’re boning
We’re moaning and groaning
I’m smoothing out your ice
like I was a Zamboni
We’re boning, we’re boning
We’re moaning and groaning
Making babies ’cause it’s cheaper
than cloning

You ask me not
To laugh when you’re about
to come
But the way you scream
It sounds just like an angry nun
I lose my shit
Fall off the bed and take the sheets
You make me come
And I yell out like a horny priest

We’re boning, we’re boning
We’re moaning and groaning
Committing sins for which there
can be no atoning
We’re boning, we’re boning
We’re moaning and groaning
You think that you’re a king but
I will cause your dethroning

Are you so famous?
Are you so famous?
Are you so famous that you can’t
go down and lick my anus?

Are you so rich?
Are you so rich?
Are you so rich that you can’t
find my clit?

Are you so pretty?
Are you so pretty?
Are you so pretty that you’re scared
to get your penis shitty?

Jenn Joy
Requiem for love

What do you see when you look into the dark? Burning cities, toxic undergrowth, a deluge of tears, police tape, cigarette ash, dogs in silver capes, a spaceship, a precarious garden, bunny suits, goat girl and giraffe boys, dancing, always dancing, and stars luminous glitter against black.

Scaffold Room conjures a speculative architecture vivid and incandescent—filled with rage, desire and beauty. A visceral interrogation of sexuality and social fear, the work sublimates syntax to epileptic fits of misrecognition. Names come untethered as choreography renders histories physical and intimately strange. Shattered metonymy or ravenous ecology?

Okwui Opokwasili jumps on a plastic-encased mattress then from Beyoncé to Lady Gaga and her little monsters, zombies, Amy Winehouse, Bob Dylan, Etta James. She calls out to Carol Jones’s “Don’t Destroy Me” to incite Kathy Acker: the pain stops he moves deeper as the rhythm starts as he starts moving back and forth still slowly I rise up I move into my clit into every microinch of his cock touches I roll over swan’s neck into a quick orgasm a good beginning! Entangled, complicit. She removes her Biggie T-shirt, turns it inside out to reveal Nas, and thrash fights to Bad Brains’ “Pay to Cum.”

Blond wig, red heels, legs splayed, April Matthis murmurs I like to party, eh, eh, eh as if quietly intoxicated. She speaks of car horns, salsa music, silence, drowning photographs; emulsion is like water. Brilliant in red, she asks after Ben Webster’s saxophone, then lies on the floor screaming screaming screaming.

For the poet, the world is word. Words. Not that precisely. Precisely: the world and words fuck each other. Acker writes of Samuel Delany’s anarchic erotics. Ralph Lemon’s Scaffold Room rides this reiterative edge, another vivisection of desire where language secedes from representational tyranny to imagine a fugitive world. When they invented the car, they invented the collision, reminds David Wojnarowicz. Pornographic articulation cut with dystopic revolution put to music, transgressive and capacious, we move from unknown to the unknowable by way of desire. I fall in love to come apart.

Be love my dear, you wrote. Dangerous, complete: sky connected to mud.

Okwui Okpokwasili

Scaffold Room feels like a continuation of Come home Charley Patton (2004), my first piece with Ralph, and How Can You Stay in the House All Day and Not Go Anywhere? (2008–10), but it isn’t. Each of the pieces is distinct and complete, but they seem to receive signals from each other. Scaffold Room is both dense and dispersed. During the performance, I’m contained in a room, which becomes a lecture hall, which becomes a club, which becomes a spaceship, and then April [Matthis] comes, opens the space, leaves the room, skips across the black, and then as you exit, Paul [Hamilton], Omagbitse [Omagbemi], Malcolm [Low], and Kevin [Beasley] are taking you to the next realm. And if, before all of this, you’ve gone to the second floor of the Kitchen, you’ve moved through an orbit of carefully constructed memory/memorabilia. You traversed time and space, you went to Mississippi, you saw the spaceship garden planted, you witnessed the miniature black-and-white giraffes.

Because there’s so much talking in it, Scaffold Room might seem less about the body than Ralph’s other pieces—but the talk is fleshy. There’s a density of flesh in the language, especially in the references to popular culture—those people that serve as vessels for our projections of desire. When you love a pop star, are you in love with them? How carnal is that love? What’s the line between the carnal and the sublime? The piece is shifting, unsteady. It exists on an unsteady terrain made of the things we can recall about who we love, those who inspire us, those who’ve made us who we are. I don’t know. We’ve been doing it for a while; each time I do it I feel like I’m remembering and forgetting some new thing.

When I first began working with Ralph, I was really compelled by how perfect his questions were. At the beginning, the rehearsal space is flooded with material to consider and look at. Then Ralph goes in and extracts something. He is meticulous in his choosing and pairing. He’ll come in and shift a finger. Or he’ll ask me about my shoulder. He’ll get weirdly dance-y, weirdly particular. And the little shifts change everything. All of a sudden I’m thinking about my finger. And I’m like, “I need to think about my finger? I was just crying for eight minutes! Why does it matter what’s going on with my finger?” But that’s what it feels like when we’re shaping something. In the end there’s always a form that we have to contend with. The form attempts to contain the wildness and messiness of the body. There’s a storm in that container—that’s the space I love to play in.

Ralph’s generosity can still give me pause. “Why is he letting me do this?” I wonder. For me, the question then inevitably becomes, “Why is he making me do this?” (Because once I’ve offered something, and he receives it, it will remain in the piece.) But Ralph honors my place in his work, my ability to make my own path through it. It’s like he tries not to bother me, somehow. Sometimes people say, “He’s not answering the question.” But the answer is always another question. Ralph’s pieces refuse to resolve. That place of the question is really exciting and fertile for me. I don’t need for him to confirm or approve me, and he’s not interested in doing that. When I see him, I feel joy.

7:00–9:30 p.m. Jing Fong
20 Elizabeth Street
New York, NY

We’re pleased to announce that Ralph Lemon will be the honoree at Triple Canopy’s fall benefit, which will take place on Wednesday, November 18, 2015. Please join Triple Canopy’s editors, Board of Directors, and Publishers Circle for cocktails, a seated dinner, and various celebrations of Lemon’s extraordinary life and work. Poet, essayist, classicist, and translator Anne Carson will make remarks. Artists Kevin Beasley, Sharon Hayes, and Glenn Ligon will create editions for the occasion. Writers Brent Hayes Edwards, Lizzie Feidelson, Malik Gaines, James Hannaham, Jenn Joy, and Okwui Okpokwasili will contribute to a special program featuring cover art by Nicole Eisenman.

As a choreographer, writer, and visual artist, Ralph Lemon has been an iconoclastic, protean figure in contemporary performance for more than thirty years. Lemon’s works, which are multivalent yet inviting, even magnetic, consider embodiment, memory, aesthetic practice, and race with great nuance and precision. Lemon defines dance capaciously, or with successive ellipses, or with question marks—and so a dance might begin with a road trip and come to include choreographed steps or solo performances that can only be experienced belatedly, as stories; a dance might manifest in the gallery of a museum, in the circulation of rumors, in a series of photographs, in a video installation, in the pages of a book; a dance might provide Lemon with a means of writing his way into foreign lands, the homes of strangers, the flow of traditions, the heads of friends, the narratives of institutions. Regardless of how Lemon’s works travel and how they are sensed, they continually reinvent the ways in which performance is made, viewed, studied, and preserved.

Born in Cincinnati and raised in Minneapolis, Lemon began his career as a dancer. From 1975 to 1979, he worked with Nancy Hauser, a disciple of Hanya Holm (herself a disciple of Mary Wigman). From 1979 to 1980, he performed in works by artist, composer, and choreographer Meredith Monk. In 1985, he founded the Ralph Lemon Dance Company and Cross Performance, Inc., a company dedicated to performances and presentations that span cultures and disciplines. From 1985 to 1995, Lemon choreographed more than fourteen evening-length works for his and other companies, including the Alvin Ailey Repertory Company, Boston Ballet, Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genéve, and the Lyon Opera Ballet.

In 1995, Lemon disbanded his company and initiated The Geography Trilogy, a decade-long anthropological and artistic inquiry into “the social gravities of race and identity at the turn of the twenty-first century.” The series featured three evening-length performances: Geography (1997), an exploration of Lemon’s relationship to Africa and the African diaspora, performed by a cast of nine men of African descent from Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea and the United States; Tree (2000), the result of Lemon’s sojourn through India, Indonesia, China, and Japan; and Come home Charley Patton (2004), a meditation on the rural South and the legacy of the civil rights era. The Geography Trilogy also includes two Internet projects, gallery exhibitions, and three books of Lemon’s writing, drawing, and photography, each of which is devoted to—and was produced coincidentally with—one work from the trilogy.

Lemon’s recent works include Scaffold Room (2014), an installation and live performance which premiered at Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, was later presented at the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College, and will open this October at the Kitchen in New York City; Four Walls (2012), a live multimedia dance installation that premiered at Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York; “1865 Cessna Road” (2012), an exhibition at the Studio Museum in Harlem that included a digital animation, photographs, and a video installation; and How Can You Stay in the House All Day and Not Go Anywhere? (2008–2010), a multimedia work that hinges on Lemon’s long time relationship with Walter Carter, a centenarian former sharecropper and lifetime resident of the Mississippi Delta, and was performed at Walker Art Center, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, and Brooklyn Academy of Music, among other venues.

In 2012, Lemon co-curated Some sweet day, a three-week performance series that took place in the atrium of the Museum of Modern Art and featured Simone Forti, Deborah Hay, Sarah Michelson, and Steve Paxton, among others. Staging choreographic works in the atrium—one of the museum’s most iconic and contested spaces, doubling as tourist thoroughfare and stage—and processing the robust (and often conflicted) response from critics and colleagues led Lemon to focus his thinking around performance’s “rightful” place in art institutions. In October 2013, Lemon began to organize Value Talks, a series of private conversations and performances at the Museum of Modern Art that considered how institutions preserve and publish performance, and how they confer value on artworks and their makers. From the beginning, Lemon worked with Triple Canopy to create an expanded record that would retrospectively reflect on these conversations but also perpetuate them, extend their scope and audience. The resulting book, On Value, will be published in November 2015. It employs documentation as well as commissioned essays and artworks to ask how and why performers, choreographers, and dancers might go about making art institutions into proper venues, even caretakers, for their works; when the notion of “buying” or “selling” a dance might be preposterous, seductive, useful, or blasphemous to both institutions and artists; and how race bears on discussions and assessments of value.

Lemon is the recipient of many honors, including the 2012 Doris Duke Performing Artist Award; a 2006 United States Artists Fellowship; two “Bessie” Awards (1986, 2005); two Foundation for Contemporary Art Awards (1986, 2012); two New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowships (2004, 2009); a 2009 Guggenheim Fellowship; a 2004 Bellagio Study Center Fellowship; and the 1999 CalArts Alpert Award. He has been an IDA Fellow at Stanford University (2009); artist-in-residence at Temple University (2005–06); Miller Endowment Visiting Artist at the University of Illinois’s Krannert Center (2004); Fellow of the Humanities Council and Program in Theater and Dance at Princeton University (2002); Associate Artist at Yale Repertory Theatre (1996-2000); Visiting Critic in the Sculpture Department at the Yale University School of Art (fall 2011); Mellon Foundation Visiting Artist Fellow at Columbia University (2015); and finalist for the Guggenheim’s Hugo Boss Prize (2015).

Benefit Committee

Honorary Chairs
Thelma Golden, Kathy Halbreich

Honorary Committee
Eileen & Michael Cohen, Katy Lederer & Ben Statz, Alex Logsdail,
the Robert D. Bielecki Foundation

Patron Committee
Augusto Arbizo, Adriana Cisneros de Griffin, Katie Dixon & Richard Fleming, Alexandra Economou, Heather Flow, RoseLee Goldberg, Agnes Gund, Jim Hodges, Lisa Ivorian-Jones, Dorothy Lichtenstein, Susan & Harry Meltzer, Barbara & Howard Morse, Brooke Garber Neidich, Kathryn Rashid, Jeannette Watson Sanger & Alexander Sanger, Brent Sikkema, Cleophus Thomas, Begum Yasar

Support Committee
Cory Arcangel, Courtney Willis Blair, Marianne Boesky, Ryan Brumberg, David Zwirner Books, Gabriella De Ferrari, David Deitcher, Gabrielle Giattino, Nicholas Harteau, Mackie Healy & Alex Glauber, Sofía Hernández Chong Cuy, Heather Hubbs, Prem Krishnamurthy, Rhiannon Kubicka & Theodore Blackston, Margaret Lee & Oliver Newton, Sam Miller, Fraser D. Mooney, Cory Nomura, Brian O'Doherty & Barbara Novak, Steve Pulimood, Andrea Rosen, Nicole Russo, Mary Sabbatino, Selig D. Sacks, Kate Shepherd, Kara Vander Weg & Brett Littman, Jeffrey Weiss

Event Committee
Noreen Ahmad, Ian Alteveer, Christopher & Liz Apgar, Artforum, Beth Aviv, Andrew Black, Emmelyn Butterfield-Rosen, Isabel Byron, Victoria Camblin, Carol Cohen & Gideon Lewis-Kraus, Dillon Cohen & Katie Holten, Kim Conaty, Kari Conte, Lisa Cooley, Carol Dorsky, Heather Richard Evans, Michelle Finocchi, Richard Flood, Claudia Gould, Joanne Greenbaum, Janice Guy, Michael Hainey, Joy Harris, Steve Henry, Alexander Keith, Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery, Carin Kuoni & John Oakes, Zoe Leonard, Eben Lille, Scott Lorinsky, Maria Giulia Prezioso Maramotti, Megan Messina, Gregory R. Miller & Michael Weiner, Roger Mooney & Donald Steele, Liz Mulholland, Nancy Portnoy, Yvonne Puffer & Sean Elwood, Steve Pulimood, Charles Renfro, Jane Rosenblum, Natalie Rousso, Tracey Ryans, Carol Salmanson, Jay Scheib, Arlene Shechet, Amy Sillman, Deb Singer & Jay Worthington, Margaret Sundell, Sandy Tait & Hal Foster, Lynne Tillman, Jasmin Tsou, Rachel Uffner, Olga Viso & Cameron Gainer, Allison Weisberg & Peter Barker-Huelster, Alex Zachary

Committee list in formation.

Special thanks to Casey Kaplan, New York, and Luhring Augustine, New York, for their generous support.

Levels of support

Individual ticket: $250
• Individual seating for dinner and cocktails
• Tax deductibility: $170

Premium Individual Ticket: $350
• Individual seating for dinner and cocktails
• Name recognition on the Patron Committee list in print and online
• Tax deductibility: $270

Pair of two tickets: $450
• Seating for two guests for dinner and cocktails
• Name recognition on the Event Committee list in print and online
• Tax deductibility: $290

Shared Supporters Table: $1,000
• Seating for five guests for dinner and cocktails
• Name recognition on the Support Committee list in print and online
• Complimentary Triple Canopy membership
• Tax deductibility: $600

Supporters table: $2,000 • Seating for ten guests for dinner and cocktails
• Name recognition on the Support Committee list in print and online
• Complimentary Triple Canopy membership
• Tax deductibility: $1,200

Patrons table: $3,000
• Premier seating for ten guests with dinner and cocktails
• Name recognition on the Patron Committee list in print and online
• Complimentary Triple Canopy membership
• Tax deductibility: $2,200.

Honoree’s table: $5,000
• Premium seating for ten guests with dinner and cocktails
• Name recognition on the Honorary Committee list in print and online
• Full-page greeting in the event program
• Complimentary Triple Canopy membership
• Tax deductibility: $4,200

Unable to attend? Consider making a tax-deductible contribution.

With additional support from: