Matty Davis: Die No Die (The High Line)

Tuesday, April 30, Wednesday, May 1 & Thursday, May 2
5PM - 6PM

Throughout the High Line
New York
United States
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The performance begins at the southern entrance of  the High Line at Gansevoort St. and Washington St. and will travel north on the High Line, concluding at The Spur.

Matty Davis is an artist and choreographer engaged in collaborative explorations of risk, trust, responsibility, and empathy. His work predominantly manifests in performance and dance. Davis foregrounds the body as a means to enliven tensions inherent in our being—between fragility and strength, the individual and the collective, and life and death. His performances are characterized by their intense physicality and inventive choreography, often orchestrated to be directly responsive to and engaged with his audience. 

For the High Line, Matty Davis presents Die No Die (The High Line), a site-responsive work undertaken by Davis and six collaborators—Nile Harris, Chloé Cooper Jones, Anna Thompson, Taylor Knight, Bryan Saner, and Tony Orrico (via Davis). Each evening, the performers and the audience traverse the High Line together, from the park’s southern entrance at Gansevoort Street to the Spur. Each performer navigates the work’s choreographic structure in four parts: ‘The Critical Gesture of Arrival,’ ‘The Gem,’ ‘Send the Heart Deeper,’ and ‘Oppositional States.’ This happens one performer at a time, in linear succession, at six pre-determined stops along the High Line. Each performer signals to the next through the felt beat of their hearts—the heart signifying a baton in the relay of life— and in the forward motion of performance itself. 

Supported by an original publication that mirrors the path of the performance, Die No Die engages a wide range of concerns: architectural, historical, ecological, and personal. Together, the performance and publication explore freedom, demand, and our responsibility to the transference of life between and among bodies that propel all of us forward.

Organized by Taylor Zakarin, Associate Curator, High Line Art

About the Performers

Matty Davis

Matty Davis (b. 1989, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) lives and works in New York. Davis’ work has been featured at institutions including Dallas Contemporary, Dallas, Texas (2023); The Momentary, Bentonville, Arkansas (2023); Center for Performance Research, New York, New York (2022); Kanal Centre Pompidou, Brussels, Belgium (2021); The Miller Institute for Contemporary Art, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (2019); Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France (2019); and The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois (2018). He has participated in prominent international artist residencies, including at The Momentary, Bentonville, Arkansas (2022); Ucross Foundation, Clearwater, Wyoming (2022); Art Omi, Ghent, New York (2020); and The Watermill Center. Watermill, New York (2016). 

Chloé Cooper Jones

Chloé Cooper Jones is a professor, journalist, and the author of the memoir Easy Beauty, which was named a best book of 2022 by The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, TIME Magazine, and was a finalist for the 2023 Pulitzer Prize in Memoir. She was also a Pulitzer Prize finalist in Feature Writing in 2020. She is a contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine, a Whiting Creative Nonfiction Grant recipient, a Howard Foundation Fellow, and an Associate Professor of Writing at Columbia University. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Nile Harris

Nile Harris is a performer and director of live works of art. He has done a few things and hopes to do a few more, God willing. 

Taylor Knight and Anna Thompson

Taylor Knight and Anna Thompson are co-founding artistic directors of slowdanger, a multidisciplinary performance entity utilizing movement, found material, integrative technology, electronic instrumentation, and vocalization to produce performance work since 2013. Based out of Pittsburgh, PA, slowdanger synergizes mediums, utilizing process based practice to delve into circular life patterning including effort, transformation, and death. They have been featured in or by Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch,” MoMA, The Kennedy Center, The Andy Warhol Museum, Usine C (France), and more. They were 2022 awardees of the NPN Creation Fund and NEFA/National Dance Project to create their work SUPERCELL, which premiered in 2023 at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center at the University of Maryland and the Kelly Strayhorn Theater in Pittsburgh.

Bryan Saner

I have made my living doing a combination of creative socially active practices: industrial arts, restoration, repair, making, teaching, and performing. Each discipline participates in the other's goals without separation. I try to make long-term commitments to collaborate closely with artists and activists.  We are developing alternative creative, educational and economic communities inside and outside of existing established systems. We congregate in private and public architectural spaces, theoretical institutions, and human bodies. These practices endeavor to advance culture by building, destroying, and rebuilding human spaces and relationships.

Tony Orrico (not physically present, but Matty “embodies” Tony for the first part of the performance - as a way to reference the prior iteration of Die No Die)

Tony Orrico is known for his ingenuity within the intersections of performance and drawing. His works investigate mental and physical endurance, somatic drawing, choreography, bio-geometrics and improvisational practices. Orrico has performed/exhibited his work across the US and internationally in Australia, Belgium, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Mexico, Norway, the Netherlands, Poland and Spain. His visual work is in the permanent collections of The National Academy of Sciences (Washington DC) and Museo Universitario de Arte Contemporáneo (MUAC, Mexico City) as well as prominent private collections such as Grazyna Kulczyk, Kablanc/Fundación Otazu and Bergmeier/Kunstsaele among others. He has presented at the CCCB, Centre Pompidou-Metz, The New Museum and Poptech 2011: The World Rebalancing. Orrico was one of a select group of artists to re-perform the work of Marina Abramovic during her retrospective at MoMA (2010). As a former member of Trisha Brown Dance Company and Shen Wei Dance Arts, Orrico has graced such stages as the Sydney Opera House, Teatro La Fenice, New York State Theater and Theatre du Palais-Royal. Orrico is currently an Assistant Professor of Sculpture & Intermedia, and Dance at the University of Iowa, in Iowa City. In 2020, Orrico was included in the book PERFORMANCE DRAWING: New Practices since 1945, a collection of interviews and essays exploring the relationship between drawing and performance, published by Bloomsbury.



Throughout the High Line
New York
United States