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Excerpts from the Cathy Weis Archive: 1983-1987


The Cathy Weis Archive contains hundreds of hours of footage of Weis’ work as a performance videographer in New York City from 1983 through the present day. Weis approaches her documentary work with a choreographer’s eye, capturing not merely the spatial records for the purpose of restaging¬†the choreography, but the nuances of performance usually lost in conventional recording. Documenting many rare and improvisational performances by emerging and established artists, as well as discussions, informal gatherings, and outdoor scenes, Weis has produced an archive that is a unique record of dance and performance from a eclectic and dynamic period in the history of New York City art-making. The archive is not only an invaluable resource for the creative processes of dancers, performers, and artists, but for dance historians and educators as well.

Preserving and cataloguing the holdings of the archive is a major and ongoing initiative of Cathy Weis Projects. With the consent of the artists represented, excerpts will ultimately be made accessible to artists, performers, students, scholars, and critics all over the world. Weis’ latest creative project, Look Into the Past with Madame Xenogamy, is an initial way the public can engage with some of the archive’s rare and historic footage.

Recognizing a critical need for the preservation of the tapes, in early 2003, Weis engaged Gartenberg Media Enterprises, a company that restores and distributes libraries of classic and avant-garde films and archives of publishing and photographic assets. With their help, Weis developed a customized and comprehensive catalogue with standardized nomenclature for the diverse camera positions and points of view represented in the recorded imagery, and of all creative, intellectual, and technological information related to each work. The digitization and cataloging of the archive’s holdings remains an ongoing project.

Artists represented in the archive include:

Eric Bogosian
Remy Charlip
Ping Chong
Yoshiko Chuma
Chris Cochrane
Jane Comfort
Blondell Cummings
Molissa Fenley
Malcolm Goldstein
David Gordon
Spalding Gray
Deborah Hay

 

Fred Holland
Ishmael Houston-Jones
Bill Irwin
Risa Jaroslow
Bill T. Jones
Elvin Jones
Daniel Lepkoff
Yvonne Meier
Jennifer Miller
Meredith Monk
Jennifer Monson
Mark Morris

 

Lisa Nelson
Pauline Oliveros
Mary Overly
Steve Paxton
Wendy Perron
Stephen Petronio
Susan Rethorst
Sally Silvers
Jim Staley
Elizabeth Streb
Kei Takei
Robert Whitman
Channel Z