The Museum der Moderne Salzburg is presenting the first comprehensive exhibition in the German speaking countries of works by the British artist Rose English (b. 1950 Hereford, UK). English emerged from the conceptual art, dance and feminist scenes of 1970s Britain to become one of the most influential performance artists working today. Her uniquely interdisciplinary work combines elements of theatre, circus, opera, comedy and poetry to explore themes of gender politics, the identity of the performer and the metaphysics of presence—the very nature of being a performer.
The exhibition at the Museum der Moderne Salzburg provides a thematic insight into the performance work that English has developed over the past 40 years. Early on, she explores ballet and dressage, and their common roots in the courtly spectacle of the Baroque. From there she develops, among others, her renowned feminist dance performance Quadrille (1975) and her internationally acclaimed stage performance with a horse My Mathematics (1992). Her unique practice is characterized by a variety of collaborators, including musicians, singers, dancers, filmmakers, circus performers, magicians, as well as dressage horses.
Three of her internationally presented, major theatre productions—Walks on Water (1988), The Double Wedding (1991), and Tantamount Esperance (1994)—are shown publicly for the first time in the form of a new site-specific installation.
A commissioned performance program accompanies the exhibition with performances by four younger international artists, whose work resonates with the artistic practice of English.
The exhibition is accompanied with a bilingual publication.