Dancing Circles, 2018

Basel 2019
Greene Naftali
Stainless steel, two-way mirror glass, 230 × 456 × 729.5 cm
Münsterplatz Dancing Circles is a site-specific installation by Dan Graham. The most recent iteration of his series of glass and steel pavilions, Dancing Circles belongs to a body of work Graham initiated in the 1970s with his presentation at the 37th Venice Biennale, Public Space/Two Audiences (1976). At once sculptural and architectural, Graham’s pavilions both reflect and formally interact with their environment, and invite the viewer’s participation on a temporal, perceptual level. Once inside Dancing Circles, the viewer is engaged in a stratified viewing experience: Graham’s material is both surface and transparency; inside and outside compete for visibility, layers of individual and collective reflections shift and multiply. Dancing Circles, when vacant, is an elegant structure of geometrically interlocking circumferences, demonstrating Graham’s descent from the legacy of Minimalism. Installed on Münsterplatz, a city square otherwise architecturally bare, Dancing Circles both populates open space with its illusory refractions and emphasizes the site as a central platform for democracy, activated by its visitors who play the roles of both performer and audience.