Ralph Lemon

Ralph Lemon is Artistic Director of Cross Performance, a company dedicated to the creation of cross-cultural and cross-disciplinary performance and presentation. Lemon builds teams of collaborating artists - from diverse cultural backgrounds, countries and artistic disciplines - who bring their own history and aesthetic voices to the work. Projects develop over a period of years, with public sharings of work-in-progress, culminating in artworks derived from the artistic, cultural, historic and emotional material uncovered in this rigorous creative research process.

In 2005, Lemon concluded The Geography Trilogy, a decade-long international research and performance project exploring the “conceptual materials” of race, history, memory and the creative practice. The project featured three dance/theater performances: Geography (1997); Tree (2000); and Come home Charley Patton (2004); two Internet art projects; several gallery exhibitions; the publication of two books by Wesleyan University Press, and a third to be published in 2012. Other recent projects include a 2009 multimedia performance commission for the Lyon Opera Ballet, Rescuing the Princess; and Lemon’s multimedia project How Can You Stay In The House All Day And Not Go Anywhere?

Lemon was one of fifty artists to receive the inaugural United States Artists Fellowship in 2006. He has received two “Bessie” (NY Dance and Performance) Awards, a 2004 New York Foundation for the Arts Prize for Choreography, a Guggenheim Fellowship and a 2004 Fellowship with the Bellagio Study and Conference Center. In 1999, Lemon was honored with the CalArts Alpert Award in the Arts. Lemon’s solo visual art exhibitions include: How Can You Stay In The House All Day And Not Go Anywhere?, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, CA (2010); (the efflorescence of) Walter, Contemporary Art Center, New Orleans (2008), The Kitchen, New York (2007) and the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (2006); The Geography Trilogy, Zilkha Gallery at Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT (2001); Temples, Margaret Bodell Gallery, New York (2000); and Geography, Art Awareness, Lexington, New York (1997). 

In addition to using his time as an Armory Artist in Residence to continue his daily art making practice and ongoing investigations of inhabiting movement in his body, he will be working on the development and presentation of several cross-disciplinary projects. He will begin research for SCAFFOLD ROOM (working title), a new work for a solo performer, a “performance-lecture-musical” taking place in a confined space, with video and live music, where documentary and fiction—the need for facts and the desire for myths—collide. Additionally, he will be working on a collaboration with dancer, Jimena Paz, will be preparing for a show of photographs, video and animation to open at the Studio Museum of Harlem in April 2012, and will be making final corrections to his manuscript, Come home Charley Patton, to be published by Wesleyan University Press in the fall of 2012.

Photo by Dan Merlo
In photo (l to r): David Thomson, Djédjé Djédjé Gervais (background), Ralph

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