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Cally Spooner

September 18, 2014, 7:00 PM, 7:45 PM, 8:30 PM
September 19, 2014, 7:00 PM, 7:45 PM, 8:30 PM
14th Street Passage, on the High Line at West 14th Street

Preview Screening
September 12 – September 17, 2014
14th Street Passage, on the High Line at West 14th Street
5:00 PM until the park closes

Free Admission | Open To All Ages | No RSVP Required

In the week leading up to her High Line Performance, Cally Spooner will screen a mysterious digital advertising campaign, comprising three high-definition, large-scale video projections. Each video features five dancers performing the score of an appropriated transcript in which an employee discloses personal content for their corporation’s public advertising campaign. The advertisements become a looping dance, punctuated with text extracted from a seamless mixture of social media complaints regarding the NSA’s data collection program “Prism” and Katy Perry’s followers’ tweets praising her 2013 album of the same name.

During the performance proper, the projections become part of a consumer feedback opera, as three opera singers arrive to activate the otherwise silent videos, transforming them from a multi-channel advertisement into a giant opera teleprompter. Staged on the High Line – a unique and explicitly public space – the work considers how our over-congested information economy has shifted focus, complicating the idea of the “public” realm. Here, the demand for “real life” and ostensibly private content is projected into the public eye, driven by the same reoccurring promise: IT’S ABOUT YOU.

Photos by Liz Ligon.

Cally Spooner

Cally Spooner (b. 1983, United Kingdom) lives and works in London. Using theory, philosophers, current affairs and pop cultural figures as alibis to help her write, and casts of arguing characters to help her perform, Spooner produces plotless novellas, disjunctive theater plays, looping monologues, and musical arrangements to stage the movement and behavior of speech. Recent performances include He’s In A Great Place!, Tate Modern, London (2014); Seven Thirty Till Eight, Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen (2013); And You Were Wonderful, On Stage, Performa 13, New York (2013); Carol, I Think My Place In History Is Assured, MOTInternational, Brussels (2013); Cally Spooner: Footnote 5, ICA, London (2012); and It’s 1957, and the press release still isn’t written, Hermes und der Pfau, WCW Gallery, Hamburg (2011). She is the recipient of the Paul Hamlyn Foundation Award for Artists (2013), Cite Des Arts residency, Paris, in collaboration with the French Cultural Instiute and the British Council (2012), and the Henry Moore Foundation Publication and Lecture Grant (2009).


Written and Directed by Cally Spooner
Choreography by Adam Weinert
Dancers: Caroline Fermin, Cynthia Koppe, Jhia Louise, Cecily McCullough, Jennifer Yackel
Opera singers: Carla Jablonski, Matthew Morris, Adrian Rosas
Costumes: Malene List Thomsen
Videography: Pierce Jackson
Editing: Cally Spooner and Jesse Watt
Project Assistant: Finlay Forbes Gower


High Line Art is presented by Friends of the High Line and the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation. High Line Art is made possible by Donald R. Mullen, Jr. and The Brown Foundation, Inc. of Houston, with additional support from Vital Projects Fund, Inc. High Line Art is supported, in part, with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

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