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Ilya Vidrin: Everything You Do Matters, No Matter What You Do


For his 2022 New Museum Residency, movement artist and researcher Ilya Vidrin investigates the work and moral textures of intimate physical care through discussion, experimental workshops, and live performance.

Cover Image:

Push: Ilya Vidrin and My’kal Stromile in Levering Study; photo: Sue Murad

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Ilya Vidrin’s research uses embodied philosophical inquiry to understand and practice care through somatic movement.

Many discourses of somatic knowledge, therapy, movement, and meditation center interior sensation, reflection, and shifts within an individual’s physical experiences. Vidrin’s research and practice, in contrast, consider the social potential for a more bodily understanding of community care, focusing on the ways we move through and take up space with others.

Creating scores for iterative, intimate movement, Vidrin nurtures conditions for partners to search within themselves, one another, and in their shared connections to interrogate how meaningful relations are experienced. Partners co-develop and co-discover bodily knowledge, and in the process create new ways of being in space together. Rather than keeping in step with efficiency-oriented value systems (in which goals do not take into account ethical imperatives necessary for good relations), somatic partnering re-authors what physical expertise means. In this redefinition, typical standards of excellence in movement—expertise demonstrated through particular athleticism, rhythmic alignment, or visual lines, for example—are transformed into embodied processes that cultivate and sustain mutual aid.

Across workshops, conversations, and performances with trained and untrained dancers, Vidrin’s residency will explore the possibility of communicating aspects of embodied trust, empathy, consent, and agency in partnering studies.

“Ilya Vidrin: Everything You Do Matters, No Matter What You Do,” the New Museum’s 2022 artist in residence program, is organized by Andrew Westover, Keith Haring Director of Education and Public Engagement, and Emily Mello, former Senior Associate Director of Education.

Residency Events

Thursday, June 9: Panel Discussion
Friday, July 15: Somatic Partnering Workshop
Friday, September 9–Saturday, September 10: Live Performances

About the Artist

Ilya Vidrin (b. 1988, Boston, MA) is a performer, educator, and researcher working at the intersection of performing arts, philosophy, and interactive media. Born into a refugee family, Vidrin’s research and artistic practice interrogate the complex ethics of human interaction, including the embodiment of empathy, cultural competence, and social responsibility. He is featured as one of Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch” in 2022. Vidrin has been an artist-in-residence at Jacob’s Pillow; North Atlantic Ballet; Ballet Des Moines; AREA Gallery; the National Parks Service; Harvard ArtLab; The Walnut Hill School; Interlochen Arts Academy; MIT Media Lab; Boston Center for the Arts; Le Laboratoire; and Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. He has also worked with the ​L.A. Contemporary Dance Company; The Royal Swedish Ballet: Berlin Staatsballett; Boston Philharmonic Orchestra; The Cambrians; Erick Hawkins Dance Company; ​and dance artists including ​Sidra Bell, Aszure Barton, Ohad Naharin, ​William Forsythe, Brian Brooks, and Wendy Whelan. He is a recipient of ​several fellowships, including Byron Fellowship in Sustainable Leadership (2015); Derek Bok Fellowship in Media, Visualization, and Literacy (2015); Erasmus Fellowship (2016); Boston Foundation “Live Arts Boston” Grant (2018/2021); and Massachusetts Cultural Council Choreographic Fellowship (2020). Vidrin holds a PhD from the Center for Dance Research, United Kingdom.

About New Museum Artist Residencies

The Department of Education and Public Engagement hosts an annual Artist Residency that draws directly from the New Museum’s belief that contemporary art is a vital social force that advances questioning, learning, and working towards a better society.

The Artist Residency supports artists in developing and presenting performance, participatory, and time-based art, and provides platforms to engage with international and local communities through one or more of the Department’s core methods: convening, dialogue, learning and teaching, practice, and research. Artists-in-residence are afforded an honorarium, a budget, access to collaborate with education staff, and resources to create new work and realize the goals of their project.

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New Museum Digital Initiatives are generously supported by Hermine and David B. Heller.

Artist commissions at the New Museum are generously supported by the Neeson / Edlis Artist Commissions Fund.

Artist residencies are made possible, in part, by:
Laurie Wolfert
The Bowery Council of the New Museum
Public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature, and from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

Endowment support is provided by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund; the Skadden, Arps Education Programs Fund; and the William Randolph Hearst Endowed Fund for Education Programs at the New Museum.

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