Knockdown Center is pleased to present Baby, Said Alice B. Toklas, a self-performing object theater produced by artist Hanne Tierney. Installed across the expanse of Knockdown Center’s Annex, a series of vignettes come to life as cloth figures, hula hoops, and satin configurations gesture, twirl, and sway, manipulated by a system of motors and robotic electronics, designed by engineer Oskar Strautmanis. A soundtrack further animates each semi-abstract character, composed of a drifting narrative that stages imagined arguments between Gertrude Stein and her life partner Alice B. Toklas, woven with excerpts from Stein’s early plays, and with music by Erik Satie. Baby, Said Alice B. Toklas will be played on a fifteen-minute loop during gallery hours, offering viewers the possibility of an ongoing encounter with the immersive, ambulatory experience of Tierney’s enchanting work.
Hanne Tierney has performed her puppetry and object theater at The Kitchen, Franklin Furnace, the Queen’s Museum, the Whitney Museum, the Guggenheim Museum, MoMA/PS1, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Espace Kiron, Paris, the Akademie der Kuenste, Berlin, and at the Jim Henson International Festival of Puppet Theater. Tierney received an OBIE in 2000. Tierney is the founder and director of Five Myles, an exhibition and performance space in Crown Heights that focuses on engaging directly with the community and presenting work by under-represented artists.
Knockdown Center’s exhibitions are selected through a competitive open call for proposals. Through a multi-round process, exhibition proposals are reviewed by Knockdown Center’s Curatorial Advisory Board and selected based on quality, distinctiveness, and response to Knockdown Center’s unique site and context within an ecosystem of live events.
Founded in 2015, the Knockdown Center’s Curatorial Advisory Board is currently comprised of seven sitting arts professionals with diverse but overlapping interests and fields of expertise. The Curatorial Advisory Board meets bi-annually to provide critical feedback on a wide range of proposals as well as contributing to discussions about larger programmatic goals. To learn more about proposing an exhibition or short-term project please visit our Proposals Page.