Kelly Nipper, ’93
Kelly Nipper finds inspiration and makes art at some unlikely intersections. At the points where dance, photography, diagramming, architecture, and event weather maps meet, she created arresting experiences. Her "research" spins off from what others might call "choreography."
An inheritor of both the "Happenings" culture of the 1960's and the Performance Art that followed in later decades, Nipper needs people in motion as one of her raw materials. These people - usually trained dancers - aren't subjects in the usual, visual sense, but instead structural elements for a larger concept. For example, in one piece Nipper wanted to show the physicality of a specific figure-skating spin move, the Lutz. Instead of using freeze frames or slow-motion video, she had her dancer move in extreme slow motion, expanding a short action up to sixty full minutes.
Because Nipper directs, designs, and then records her analytic events with a crisp minimalism, the result can be elegantly hypnotic. She explained in a 2010 interview that she wants to "complicate, address, and reframe content in different time continuums."
The results, for Nipper and her audiences, provide a new awareness of how patterns happen around us - and of how we might fit into them, inwardly marking the ways we move. Because of her attention to the details and the beauty of pure motion, she was selected for the 2010 Whitney Biennial.