Karen Bernard

“Longing” Live from The Bunker, Dennis Port, MA

Between 1986 and 1998, Karen Bernard presented a series of feminist solos at Dia Center for The Arts and went on to be presented at venues including The Kitchen, Performance Space 122 (Performance Space New York), Danspace at St. Mark’s Church and Dance Theater Workshop (New York Live Arts).

In 2004, she incorporated old video footage, conversational text, and popular music and received critical acclaim for Removed Exposure, which premiered at Dixon Place and went on to the Festival of New Dance in St. John’s, Newfoundland; Women in Transition, a festival in Vienna; then was remounted at Here Arts Center. A handmade book of the same name, was co-created with Canadian Bookmaker Gray Fraser.

In 2007, she began to explore the manipulation of small projectors and audio equipment, often on a movable cart seamlessly integrating physicality. She has developed several works where the past and present exist and aging hangs in the balance. These works have received support through residencies that have included space, as well as site-specific performance platforms from the Bogliasco Foundation, White Oak, Emily Harvey Foundation, Brooklyn Studios for Dance, Chashama, The Kitchen Dance in Process, Earthdance, Obras Foundation, Cill Rialaig, and Wassard Elea. She was a 2006 Movement Research Artist in Residence.

Her most recent work Lakeside, was developed in collaboration with Lisa Parra through residencies L’Annexe-A and Obras Foundation as a duet presented at Salon: Douglas Dunn’s Studio and the solo version at Chashama at One Brooklyn Bridge Plaza in February, 2020.

Bernard received a BAX 10 award for her invaluable service to artists in the founding and development of the Performance Mix Festival now in its 34th year reinvented as “Remotely Yours”. http://newdancealliance.org/karen-bernard/

Artist Statement

I continue a thoughtful interrogation of feminist culture as I unearth connections between recent works myself as both subject, author and performer. I delve into the emotionally fraught terrain of how the female body is looked at, from both the vantage point of the viewer and the one being viewed within unique spatial structures.

Showgirls, 2020 (8:07)

Lakeside, 2020 (1:21)

Poolside, 2018 (4:26)

Green, 2018 (8:31)

Karen Bernard Longing Movement Research @ Judson Church, photo by Ian Douglas

  1. Montreal Hotel, 2020 photography collage
  2. Showgirls, A dance video edited in 2020 from documentation of a residency performance of Showgirls at Brooklyn Studios for Dance 2018, an installation using structures, video and performance to create a unique situation. Development of work made possible through residencies at, Emily Harvey Foundation, and Earthdance. Karen Bernard Projects is a program of New Dance Alliance.
    Creation: Karen Bernard
    Video Editor: Karen Bernard/Jil Guyon
    Performers: Karen Bernard, Rachel Thorne Germond, Jil Guyon, Lisa Parra
    Dramaturg: Andi Stover
    Costumes: Hwa Park
    Lighting: Emma Rivera
    Videographer: Jacob Hiss
  3. Lakeside: Excerpt of video used in the creation of live performance of Lakeside. Video taken at L’Annexe-A residency in Quebec.
    Videography: Karen Bernard
    Edit: Jil Guyon
    Soundscore: Boris Billier
  4. Poolside: A composite of video extracts from Poolside created with live performance at Foundation Obras residency program in Portugal 2019. Composite is edited by Karen Bernard.
  5. Green
    Creation, Performance, Video: Karen Bernard
    Edit: in collaboration with Jil Guyon and Than Wixon
    Cill Rialaig Project, Ballinskellig, Ireland 2017
    Between two stone walls of a hidden passageway, my body hidden, a black hooded sweatshirt partly concealing my face, feet scraping amplified against the floor heightens solitude and confinement. A powerpoint provides juxtaposition between magnified images of buildings materials, landscape and exposed flesh. Green confronts the aching realities of living in a body that is devalued because of gender and age.

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