Art review: Jocelyn Foye at Armory Center for the Arts


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Titled “Dance, Opera, Draw,” Jocelyn Foye’s modest exhibition at Armory Center for the Arts adds to a growing interest in cross-disciplinary collaboration, a blurring of the lines between performance and visual art.

Consisting of just three charcoal-covered canvases and a musical soundtrack, the show is minimal to a fault: It’s actually the remains of an event in which two dancers made charcoal imprints on the canvases while responding to an opera singer’s rendition of Richard Strauss’ ‘Salome.’ The whole idea sounds intriguing, but the results don’t live up to its promise.


The drawings are dark, murky things, only giving up faint traces of their creation: a few finger strokes here, some splotches there. Combined with the opera soundtrack, they take on a rather funereal air, but don’t really stand on their own as images or as installation art. Together, they raise a couple of questions: When is performance documentation also art? And how much do we need to know about the performance?

In Foye’s case, a crucial link seems to be missing. The drawings don’t tell us enough about the remarkable conditions of their creation — even the show’s brochure, with its photograph of blackened feet and hands, is more evocative. While it’s laudable to examine how movement manifests across different media, in this case, “dance” gets left out of the equation.


More art reviews from the Los Angeles Times

-- Sharon Mizota

Armory Center for the Arts, 145 N. Raymond Ave., Pasadena, (626) 792-5101, through May 13. Closed Mondays.