Shelley Lasica – WHEN I AM NOT THERE


The work of Shelley Lasica reveals a sustained exploration of dance, movement and the varying contexts in which they can occur. WHEN I AM NOT THERE provides an important occasion to reflect on forty years of Lasica’s choreographic practice and is the first project of its kind in Australia.

WHEN I AM NOT THERE features a mise-en-scène comprising new and existing elements, including contributions from the artist’s long-term collaborators and a new ensemble commissioned for the occasion and performed live for the duration of the gallery’s opening hours.

The 2021 recipient of an Australia Council Dance Fellowship, Lasica has developed this new work with a team of ten other artists, including LJ Connolly-Hiatt, Luke Fryer, Timothy Harvey, Rebecca Jensen, Megan Payne, Lisa Radford, Lana Šprajcer, Oliver Savariego, François Tétaz and Colby Vexler.

The performance-exhibition presents components from Lasica’s archive of earlier works, including costuming, objects, soundscapes and text. Consolidating ideas and experiments that Lasica has been developing throughout her career, WHEN I AM NOT THERE contributes to discussions around choreography in the gallery space and activates the tension between what it means ‘to perform’ and ‘to exhibit’.

WHEN I AM NOT THERE is accompanied by a substantial monograph featuring new writing from Erin Brannigan, Justin Clemens, Claudia La Rocco, Robyn McKenzie and Zoe Theodore. Positioning Lasica’s oeuvre within Australian contemporary practice as well as international contexts, it is the first monograph published on an Australian choreographer and includes a comprehensive account of her performance and exhibition history alongside extensive documentation drawn from her archive. 

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