A collaboration between Museum Folkwang and the Pinault Collection, Dancing with Myself is a wild jig through the art of the last fifty years, in which the dancers themselves are the artists. Going beyond the classic self-portrait, this book and the exhibition it accompanies bring together pieces in which the artist’s personal identity and body become the subject of the creative endeavour. What kinds of multiple meanings may ensue if author and material fuse in the artistic process? Does the author’s presence in the work guarantee an authentic experience in an age in which all our truths have gone missing? Are you yourself the best, the sharpest, the most ironic critic of your own self and your artistic alter ego? What’s behind the great upsurge in artistic production since the early 1970s? What critical functions and poetic modes of storytelling reside in the works that have been produced?
A major survey of pieces from the outstanding Pinault Collection in dialogue with items from Museum Folkwang’s own holdings sets up an associative and playful space of encounter in which artists meet themselves and two collections come face to face. Alongside canonical works by the doyens of this theme—including photographs by Cindy Sherman, video pieces by Bruce Nauman, Steve McQueen, and Rodney Graham, as well as paintings by Rudolf Stingel and Martin Kippenberger—Dancing with Myself also shows the conceptual approaches of Félix González-Torres and Gilbert & George. The topicality of this subject matter is borne out by video works including those of Hito Steyerl and Lili Reynaud-Dewar as well as the critical offerings of newcomers like LaToya Ruby Frazier and Paulo Nazareth.