Published: Jan. 14, 2015
Art for Michelle Ellsworth

Associate Professor Michelle Ellsworth's performance "Preparation for the Obsolescence of the Y Chromosome," part of the American Realness Festival, has been featured in the New York Times

"Preparation for the Obsolescence of the Y Chromosome" attempts to prepare (both on a micro and macro level) for the end of men. Simultaneously committed to conservation and archival efforts, Ellsworth works in the tradition of folklorist Alan Lomax.  Using web technology, replacement apparatus (including a male gaze simulator), choreography (including gratitude-inspired token gestures), and the latest data from the Whitehead Institute at MIT, this work both combats and fuels rumors about the implications of the Y Chromosome’s reputed shrinkage.

Featuring artists from across the US with a concentration of New York makers and a small selection of international artists, American Realness offers audiences local, national and international perspectives on the complicated and wondrous world we inhabit. Through visceral, visual, and text-based explorations of perception, sensation and attention, the artists of American Realness are exposing issues and questions about identity, form, ritual, death, history, pop-culture, cooperation and the professionalization of art making in an American-focused, globally-minded context. American Realness exposes the cracks in the façade: of the practice of art making; of the construction of contemporary society; of our increasing inability to slow down and really see, hear and think. American Realness is an opportunity to reclaim the reins and rewrite the narratives.

Ellsworth is also co-director of dance in the Department of Theatre & Dance.