Colin Gee | Interdisciplinary / Movement Arts
Born in California and trained as an actor at the Dell’ Arte School of Physical Theater (1991-1992) and the Jacques Lecoq School in Paris (1994 – 1996), Colin Gee was the founding Whitney Live artist-in-residence at the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the 2009 visiting artist-in-residence at the Cathedral Church of St John the Divine. He performed as a clown in the Cirque du Soleil production Dralion (2001-’04), and has created works for film, performance and opera since 2002.
Works in 2014 include concert/opera Mouthpiece XX (story, direction, and performance, composed by and performed with Erin Gee) with Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, at Vienna Konzerthaus; and Mouthpiece VI+I, (composed by Erin Gee) performed with Fonema consort in Chicago. Also in 2014 he delivered the Lorado Taft Lectureship on Art at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
In 2011 Gee was awarded a Cynthia Hazen Polsky and Leon Polsky Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome for Frontier, a solo theatrical opera. Previous residencies for Frontier include NYU / Gallatin, Robert Wilson’s Watermill Center, New York Theater Workshop, LaGuardia Performing Arts Center and the Whitney Museum. Workshop showings of Frontier have taken place at New York Theatre Workshop, Watermill Center, and LaGuardia Performing Arts Center.
In 2013 In the first place…, an EMPAC Dance Movies Commission was installed at EMPAC, and the video series I, who am the chorus, was produced by Wayne Ashley’s FuturePerfect. Two Satires (2012), a musical character study composed by Martin Brody, was performed in March with the Scharoun Ensemble of the Berlin Philharmonic at the American Academy in Rome.
The Fabulist (2011), an evening-length work on the Fables of Jean de la Fontaine was commissioned by, and premiered at, the French Institute Alliance Francaise in New York. It was also included in the Kids Euro festival, produced by the French Embassy in Washington DC, also in November 2011.
In 2010, a dance collaboration with Judith Sanchez Ruiz, Blind Studies, premiered at Danspace Project, in New York. The video series I felt I’d been here before (2010), was commissioned and presented by Belfast Exposed Photographic Archive, in Belfast. A series of eight video works entitled History Plays (2010 – ongoing), responded to works of visual art held in the collection of the Whitney Museum. These works were presented by Whitney Live.
Frequently collaborating with sibling/composer Erin Gee, he provided the libretto for her opera SLEEP(2009), which premiered at the Zurich Opera House. In November of 2009, the concert/opera Mouthpiece XII, Mathilde of Loci, Part I, with libretto, performance, filmmaking, and direction by Colin Gee, composed by Erin Gee, was presented by the American Composer’s Orchestra at Zankel Hall in Carnegie Hall.
Also in 2010, the video work Untitled (lightwell) was featured in the Contemporary Performance P4V Video Festival, and Portrait and Landscape was presented at Cornell University as part of the film festival, The Shifting Face: Portraiture and the Art of the Moving Image. A live performance, The Band (2010), that responded to and was performed on Martin Kersels’ sculptural installation 5 Songs, was featured in the Whitney Biennial.
Also in 2009, an essay on performance entitled Firespots was published in the Austrian art journal, kursiv, and a series of 10 video works, Studies for “Marley,” created with Angie Smalis in Limerick, Ireland, were presented through the Whitney Live residency. A video work Nested (2009), responding to Louise Bourgeouis’s The Nest, was commissioned by San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
The first works in the video/dance series, Portrait and Landscape (2006 – current), premiered in New York at Dance Theater Workshop in 2006. Recent works from the series include, untitled, stairwell (2009), untitled, lightwell (2009), untitled, conference room 1 and 2 (2009), Limerick Station (2009), untitled, café 1 and 2 (2009), exterior, house (2009), exterior, park (2009), and exterior, garden (2009). A second series included Hotel Lobby (2009), Field (2009), Hospitality (2009), and Market (2009). Cathedral Project (2009), a third series, comprised of 12 short films, was created in residence at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine. These works premiered at the Whitney Museum through the ARTPORT and Whitney Live divisions.Studies for Portrait and Landscape (2009), was conducted as a residency at chashama, in New York.
Objective Suspense (2008), an object-theater work, was commissioned by the Whitney Museum of American Art and performed there by Gee over 500 times, as part of the exhibition “Alexander Calder: the Paris Years.” A series of three lectures entitled Line Takes Flight, were conducted in association with the performance.
Film/performance work Across The Road (2009) received a NYSCA Individual Artist Commissioning Award and was created through a four-week residency at Daghdha Dance Company in Limerick, Ireland, and a residency at The Chocolate Factory Theater in New York, where it premiered. An adaptation of Across The Road was produced as The Chestnut (2009), written, directed and set designed by Gee, with Limerick Youth Theatre, in Limerick Ireland.
Two screenplays, Across the Road (2007) and Lady Heard Voices (2007), were Official Selections for the Bare Bones International Film Festival Screenplay Competition, and a short film, Stardust (2007), premiered at the 2007 Brooklyn Arts Council film festival, September 11th, Remembered in Film. Other original film projects written and created by Gee include the short Hotel (2003), and Lady Heard Voices (2004), a Swedish production featuring Irene Hultman.