Jump to content

On Stage

Will Rawls, [siccer]

April 27, 20237:30 pm

April 28, 20237:30 pm

April 29, 20237:30 pm

April 30, 20232:00 pm

About the Event

Will Rawls presents a new interdisciplinary work, [siccer], that addresses the relationship between blackness and image-making through a live performance accompanied by a video installation on the museum’s first floor.

Encompassing dance, photography, and sound, [siccer] experiments with stop-motion, a filmmaking technique in which subjects incrementally shift positions between photographs to produce the illusion of movement. Throughout the performance, an automated camera snaps an image every few seconds while the intervals between shutter clicks offer brief interludes when the camera fails to capture the dancers’ movements. As the performers improvise during these gaps between photographs, they rescript the terms through which blackness and queerness are made visible. [siccer] is also being presented as a video installation on the museum’s first floor throughout the duration of the Frictions suite, beginning on March 22.

About the Artist

Will Rawls is a multidisciplinary artist whose practice encompasses choreography, dance, video, sculpture, works on paper, and installation. Rawls is best known for his choreographic work that employs repetition to explore the limits of language and gesture as tools for staging performances of Black presence and becoming. Rawls created a solo exhibition for Adams + Ollman Gallery (2022), as well as a multipart installation at the Henry Art Gallery in Seattle titled Everlasting Stranger (2021). He has presented work at the Museum of Modern Art, the Hirshhorn Museum, Performa 15, Danspace Project, The Chocolate Factory Theater, High Line Art, REDCAT, the 10th Berlin Biennale, and the Hessel Museum at Bard College. He has received fellowships and residencies from the Guggenheim Foundation, The Alpert Foundation, the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, the Mellon Foundation, United States Artists, the Rauschenberg Foundation, Creative Capital, New England Foundation for the Arts, National Performance Network, MAP Fund, the MacDowell Colony, Headlands Center for the Arts, and Movement Research. Rawls recently joined UCLA’s Department of World Arts and Cultures/Dance as an Associate Professor of Choreography. In 2016 Rawls cocurated Lost and Found, six weeks of performances at Danspace Project that addressed the intergenerational impact of HIV/AIDS. His writing has been published by the Hammer Museum, MoMA, Museu de Arte de São Paolo, and in publications including the journal Dancing While Black, Brooklyn Rail, and Artforum.

Access Information

This work includes live performances and a video installation on the museum’s first floor that runs from March 22 through June 18, 2023.

The performance is improvised and may include some swearing and sexual innuendo.

Captioning, ASL, and audio description will be provided for the April 29 performance.

Closed captioning provided.ASL provided.Audio description available.


Lead support for the 2022–23 season of MCA Performance and Public Programs is provided by Elizabeth A. Liebman.

Major support is provided by the Alphawood Foundation and by Julie and Larry Bernstein.

Generous support is provided by Lois and Steve Eisen and The Eisen Family Foundation; Ginger Farley and Bob Shapiro, Martha Struthers Farley and Donald C. Farley, Jr. Family Foundation; N.A., Trustee; Susan Manning and Doug Doetsch; and Carol Prins and John Hart/The Jessica Fund.

The MCA is a proud member of the Museums in the Park and receives major support from the Chicago Park District.


Support for this project:

[siccer] was originally commissioned by The Kitchen in partnership with co-commissioners, The Momentary, Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, On the Boards, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. [siccer] was made possible, in part, by the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The MAP Fund, supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and is a Creative Capital Project. [siccer] is also a National Performance Network (NPN) Creation & Development Fund Project which is supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts (a federal agency). For more information: www.npnweb.org. [siccer] also received substantial developmental support from THINKLARGE.US, a family run nonprofit created by Don Quinn Kelley and Sandra L. Burton to aid in the creation of new work.

[siccer] was developed and supported, in part, by residencies at The Momentary and Portland Institute for Contemporary Arts, with additional support by On the Boards and The Kitchen; a creative residency at Petronio Residency Center, a program of the Stephen Petronio Company; with financial, administrative and residency support from Dance in Process at Gibney with support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; Movement Research; the Department of World Arts and Cultures/Dance at the University of California Los Angeles and The Hammer Museum Residency; the Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography at Florida State University; with production support and residency provided by EMPAC / Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; Williams College and the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art.

Alphawood Foundation Chicago logo