Cally Spooner: On False Tears and Outsourcing

New Museum, New York City

For her first solo and institutional presentation in the United States, Cally Spooner (b. 1983, Ascot, UK) produces a new installation for the New Museum’s Lobby Gallery, in which Soft Cells acoustic panels are used.

“On False Tears and Outsourcing” comprises a series of architectural additions to the gallery space. The presence of a group of dancers who will respond to conflicting choreographic instructions: to stay intimately bound together while remaining fiercely separate. Trained by rugby players and a movie director, and following the logic of a “stand-up scrum”—a daily meeting often used in collaborative, responsive practices such as software development—the dancers will learn a set of techniques taken from contact sports, management strategies, and on-screen romance. Through attempts to seduce, defend, and self-organise, the group will devise a sequence of movements in response to simple tasks set by Spooner.

The long glass wall that separates the Lobby Gallery from the New Museum Lobby will be a central feature of the installation. Using the gallery’s condition of high visibility, Spooner will consider the characteristics of corporate and museum architectures by amplifying and exaggerating certain qualities in the space through the use of Soft Cells acoustic panels, daylight bulbs, and background noise. Through this intersection of bodies and architectures of management, Spooner will examine how power presents itself when it comes into contact with the human body.

Read More