Jon Wang, Scenes from Imitation of Lives (2018)
4:35 min., video

For his hour-long performance Imitation of Lives at The Glass House, the artist Jimmy Robert drew on various aspects of the iconic building’s architect, Philip Johnson, and his larger-than-life persona. Robert, accompanied by two additional performers, NIC Kay and Quenton Stuckey, created an exquisite spatial, tonal, and rhythmical collage that combined elements from Johnson’s life, such as his 1930s love affair with jazz singer Jimmie Daniels, with various references and objects — including music, mirrors, poetry, and a marble trompe-l’oeil painting by Lucy McKenzie. For the dress rehearsal of Imitation of Lives Robert allowed fellow artist Jon Wang to document part of the powerful and mesmerizing performance exclusively for PIN–UP.

Imitation of Lives (2017) was originally staged at Philip Johnson’s Glass House in New Canaan, Connecticut, between November 3rd and November 5th, 2017, as part of Performa 17. It was co-curated by Cole Akers (The Glass House) and Charles Aubin (Performa). Supported by the Performa Commissioning Fund, FUSED (French U.S. Exchange in Dance), and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in New York in collaboration with FACE (French American Cultural Exchange), with lead funding from Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Florence Gould Foundation, the French Ministry of Culture and Communication, and private donors. Additional support provided by Andy Romer.

This project has been selected and supported by the patronage committee for the arts of the FNAGP.

Production: Sasha Okshteyn and Santino Lo
Costume design: Carmen Secareanu and Regina M. Rizzo
Voice coach: Emily Kron

Special thanks to Felix Burrichter, Ion Dumitrescu, Jason Farago, Davalois Fearon, RoseLee Goldberg, Mario Gooden, Matthias Mau, Tom McDonough, Ben Pryor, Jon Wang, Nick Weiss, and Mabel O. Wilson.

The Glass House is a site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.