Studio Visit: Josiah Cuneo // The Screen Above

Release Date: Monday, February 25, 2019

In this studio visit, Josiah Cuneo discusses his upcoming performance at Roulette and his process for creating the work.

Positioned in the lineage of Expanded Cinema, The Screen Above is a new multi-media performance featuring original choreography, music and live video created and led by Josiah Cuneo. Employing narration as a theatrical device and trope, The Screen Above subverts conventions of spectatorship and performance as a means of exploring ideas of authority, conformity, rebellion, and improvisation. Here, each scene proposes centuries of obedience in relationship to an ancient screen that hovers above the stage and transmits views of the performance that would otherwise remain obscured or out of reach, transposing its omnipotence to the audience. Woven between simultaneous spatial, temporal and perspectival shifts of performances on stage and on screen, a narrator and four dancers reveal underlying themes through a complex system of verbal and non-verbal cues in tandem with original musical scores interpreted by Jessica Pavone on viola, Meagan Burke on cello, Nick Dunston on double bass.

Engaging the audience in a spatiotemporal dynamic that exposes fissures between image and reality, The Screen Above pushes the boundaries of representation through the interaction of filmed sequences, flat projected images, and performers. Citing inspiration from multidisciplinary artists Laurie Anderson, Charles Atlas, Miranda July and William Kentridge, Cuneo’s use of image sequencing through an amalgamation of theatre, video, dance and live music performance is equally informed by the work of composers such as Anthony Braxton, John Zorn, Meredith Monk, and Giacinto Scelsi.

Laurie Déziel: actor
Louisa Ward: actor
Jessica Pavone: viola
Nick Dunston: bass
Meaghan Burke: cello
Josiah Cuneo: percussion
Anna Gichan: dance
Anya Kress: dance
Xiang Xu: dance

Josiah Cuneo is a Brooklyn based writer, director, and composer. In recognition for his films In Through the Night (2015) and LILT (2017) Cuneo has earned awards for Best Director from the NYC Indie Film Awards (2017) and Best Original Score from the Maverick Movie Awards (2017); Feel The Reel International Film Festival (2017); and Mindfield Film Festival Los Angeles (2017). He was awarded Best Experimental Film from Festigious International Film Festival (2017); Top Shorts Film Festival (2017); Top Indie Film Awards (2017); Oniros Film Awards (2017); NYC Indie Film Festival (2017); Largo Film Festival (2017); Los Angeles Shorts Awards (2017); Hollywood International Moving Pictures Film Festival (2017); and The European Independent Film Awards (2017). Cuneo was the recipient of the Dance Film Association’s Production Grant (2015) as well as the Jerome Foundation Grant and Artist Residency at Roulette, New York (2017). This is his third multimedia performance at Roulette following Scenes (2014) and The Paper Dance (2017). Cuneo graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and his work has been exhibited or performed at venues including ISSUE Project Room, Brooklyn, New York (2008); Gallery Satori, New York (2008); Hampden Gallery Incubator Project Space, University of Massachusetts Amherst (2008); Exit Art, New York (2015); DCTV, New York, (2015); Otion Front Studio, New York (2015); The Picture Show, New York (2015); Anthology Film Archives, New York (2015, 2017); and Roulette Intermedium, Brooklyn, New York (2014, 2017).