Fisher Center Hosts Biba Bell – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Fisher Center Hosts Biba Bell

The Fisher Center for the Study of Women and Men welcomes contemporary dancer and scholar Biba Bell to the Colleges for her upcoming talk, “Viscerality, Movement and the Outside: A Conversation with Biba Bell.”

The event, which is an extension of the Fisher Center’s 2012-2013 thematic focus on gender, collectivity and the common, will be held at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 3, in the Sanford Room of The L. Thomas Melly Academic Center, contiguous to the Warren Hunting Smith Library. After Bell’s presentation, Fisher Center Predoctoral Fellow Alex Pittman will host a question-and-answer session.

As a performance artist, Bell’s Fisher Center presentation will focus on how she intersects the art of bodily movement and how it activates collective space through relations within material culture. This requires the objectification of the body and inclusion of the audience.

Bell’s recent work spans issues of labor, domesticity and site-specificity to performance through what she calls “post-studio” choreographic practice; which is choreographic techniques that move outside the space that typically organizes the training, the event and the sense of dance as a collective practice.

The term “performance” typically alludes to a broad range of artistic practices, such as dance, theater and body, as well as time-based art. The term also can be used as a qualitative measure and expectation of work and general social experience. “Performance” as art can be condensed then with concerns on labor, cultural relations and perceptions that drive contemporary study of the commons.

A Detroit- and New York-based artist, Bell’s work has been featured in museums, theaters, libraries, spas, garages and in private residences around the world. She writes and lectures about post-studio dance, and looks to advance beyond the limits of traditional disciplines of dance through the use of that space. Her work includes solo performances and she is a founding member of the trio MGM Grand (Modern Garage Movement).

Currently, Bell is completing a doctorate dissertation in performance studies at New York University. Through her art, she uses alternative modes of theorizing the commons and collectivity.

Interdisciplinary discussions facilitated through the Fisher Center, including Bell’s anticipated dialogue, offers perspective on the consideration of the common interest and relations between women and men in a greater community. Each semester, the Fisher Center looks to bring together the HWS community through its academic conversations to cultivate understanding and social justice in contemporary society.