Edgar Arceneaux’s first live performance investigates the infamous 1980’s televised performance of Broadway legend Ben Vereen, which came to define him personally and publicly. Televised nationally as part of Ronald Reagan’s inaugural celebration, a ABC Television company omitted the final five minutes of the performance, causing its satirical critique to be lost on viewers at home.
Arceneaux’s performance, commissioned by Performa, is based on the five minutes of footage that never aired that night. Until, Until, Until… is a mise-en-scène of the 1981 inaugural party. Simultaneously a live film set, the performance foregrounds the past, illumines the presence of its ghosts in the present moment, and opens the possibility to reconsider our collective understanding of its events.
Central to Arceneaux’s work are the intersections of the past and the present, of history and memory. He frequently manipulates existing or new systems, methods of cataloging, and visualizations of the passage of time. For Until, Until, Until…, Arceneaux occupies the slippage between the live and the televised to investigate our relationship to time.
During the residency, Arceneaux will develop the work with a team of current and alum School of Theater students. The completed piece will be presented in New York at Performa 15, November 20 – 22, 2015. Ticketing and event information can be found on the Performa 15 website.
Photo: Paul Lovelace