Faculty Publication: Conceptual Systems

Elliot Mercer, Visiting Assistant Professor of Dance, Drama, and Film, published an article “Conceptual Systems: The Dances, Music, and Drawings of Laura Dean” in Dance Research Journal (Volume 52 Issue 3).


Laura Dean’s creative output in minimalist art spans interconnected work in dance, music, and drawing. Throughout the early 1970s, Dean represented her compositional structures as works on paper, which present an expanded visualization of her artistic experimentation with color, symmetry, repetition, and form. Dean rejects the reconstruction of her performance works, instead advancing a notion of dances as impermanent. Situating Dean in the context of serial and conceptual art, in which the material art object is deemphasized in favor of communicating compositional logic, Mercer argues that Dean presents a choreographic legacy premised on the intentional disappearance of her work in favor of perpetuating ideation and concept.

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