ATELIER DE GESTE
Atelier de Geste is a studio directed by Beau Rhee based in New York City. The studio has shown work most recently at Baryshnikov Arts Center, NY Design Week/Sight Unseen, Hammer Museum, Ringling Museum, and has been featured in British Vogue, Elle, Luxe, Coolhunting.
Rhee’s practice originates from her primal métiers: dance & movement. From these roots, her design elements stem out like branches : Objects, Textiles, Scent, creating a total Mise en scène. Through these environments & total art works (gesamstkunstwerk), Atelier de Geste creates contemporary rituals, rites and theater.
Movement research usually begins from observations of daily life: waking from sleep, getting dressed, spritzing perfume, meeting room hand gestures, moaning from pain, a haphazard arm motion directing traffic. Or, they start from objects: an ancient compass movement, spilled coffee beans, antennaes, a map of constellations, a day bed, a lost file folder, a light source. The embodiment of Jazz (call and response, structure cohabiting with improvisation, multiple voices leading) is an extremely important part of the rehearsal and creation process.
Gesture and material are often connected by the reoccurring visual of the Trace: the foot drawing a circle on a pile of coffee grounds on the floor through a slow turn, the trace of fingers in two grand arcs on a salt mound, fingers and feet drawing constellation points. The pervasive use of color and scent require the audience’s sensorial presence and a connection to body-space awareness – often hinting at the experience of synesthesia.
Together, movement & object create an environment, a mise en scène, that inherently embeds social questions and visions by connecting art to daily living matters. Through the design, the ephemeral art of dance is inserted into a social economic world and opens up criticism & discourse. For example: a 6-hour mourning slowdance danced alone, or a diagonal dance on a trail of coffee grinds, a rapid-fire twirling through salt mounds, a duet of spoken questions behind metal masks, a navigation dance in the dark lit by ancient-futuristic metal lamps.
Beau Rhee is a Designer, Artist & Choreographer. Since 2014, she is Director of Atelier de Geste, where she leads all design, production, and exhibitions. She received her M.F.A. at the Haute école d’art et de design de Genève (University of Art & Design Geneva) Visual & Applied Arts, 2010-12. She has guest lectured at the Swiss Master Symposium for the Arts, Parsons School of Design and the ICP/Bard MFA program.
At the M.F.A. program in Geneva, she learned hands-on techniques in the ateliers (wood, metal, fabric, graphic), and she studied under the tutelage of critic Christophe Kihm, designer Markus Miessen and artist Laurent Schmid. She graduated from Columbia University, Barnard College cum laude & with distinction receiving a double major in Art History & Dance in 2007. There, she studied dance under advisor Mary Cochran, and learned many schools of movement (Cunningham, Limon, Graham, Bill T Jones, NYCB Balanchine). She apprenticed under Bill T Jones / Arnie Zane Dance Company & worked in the contemporary art & fashion industries for several years before she relocated to Geneva.
Performers & Collaborators in the last 3 Years Include
Nouveau Classical Project, Anne Patterson, Abigail Doan, Ella Misko, Chantal Chadwick, Kay Ottinger, Mara Mayer, Lathan Hardy, Jason Anastanoff, James Williams & others