Dove Bradshaw on Trisha Brown

The feet in this drawing are expressive–the kind of expression more normally seen in hands. They reveal the articulation of hard work; they are the feet of Trisha Brown, a revolutionary choreographer. When asked to write about this drawing, I was told that it was made with the artist’s foot. Perhaps the halting signature serves as a clue.

Dance is propelled by the foot, and this choreographer has fearlessly walked the exterior wall of a building, ‘drawing’ a line with her feet straight down its face. No physical record was left of that performance. But in other works by Brown that I looked at while mulling over this drawing, such as It’s a Draw (2002), the choreographer sits, lies, kneels and writhes on a body-sized sheet of paper, leaving a record of the work’s progress made with large sticks of black charcoal. After making Eleven Incidents (2007), Brown commented, “It felt like having tar on my foot.” Did the ‘incidents’ happen naturally while she was trying to clean her foot? About the wall walk, Trisha says that the task itself indicates:

1. when to start
2. where to go, and
3. where to finish

This tight concept seems to apply to these works on paper as well.

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