Kelly Nipper


Working from research and structured improvisation, Kelly Nipper’s work tests the sustainability of recorded and repeated information as it changes from one form or medium to another including the acts of transcription and translation from the discipline of dance to time-based forms of image making. Working in a discursive manner she is interested in how one thing relates to another, an elastic spatial concept, endlessness, the process of creation and imagination and human and physical geography.

Nipper’s practice expands from her background in photography and film/video; technologies that collapse vast fields and the passage of time into the here and now for an audience conditioned to receive in a state of delay.

Her research pressures the industrialization and/or mechanization of body, senses and relationships. Nipper has explored specific historic practices from the late 1800s and early 1900s such as Hungarian movement theorist Rudolph Laban’s methodology as a means to evaluate ideas about composition and computation with specific reference to the human figure, social interaction, individual experience and its relationship to nature and technology.

Laban Movement Analysis (LMA) provides a vocabulary and conceptual framework for investigating and understanding the materiality of time, space and the body. More recently, Nipper’s research has centered around an extension of LMA called Bartenieff Fundamentals, which is primarily about developing connections within the body (total-body connectivity) and the body/space intent.

Nipper’s work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York; Kunsthaus Zürich, Switzerland; Tramway, Glasgow, Scotland; and the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston.

Her performances have been commissioned by The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw, Poland; South London Gallery, UK; and Performa, New York. Nipper’s work has been included in recent significant exhibitions including Danser Sa Vie at the Centre Pompidou, Paris, France (2011); 2010: Whitney Biennial, The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2010); While Bodies Get Mirrored – An Exhibition about Movement, Formalism and Space, Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zürich, Switzerland (2010); and Dance with Camera, Institute for Contemporary Art, Philadelphia (2009).

Her work is in the public collections of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Galleria d’Arte Moderna, Turin, Italy; and the Israel Museum, Jerusalem among others. Nipper received her MFA from California Institute of the Arts in 1995.