La Galleria: CROWDS

November 07 – December 01, 2019

La MaMa Galleria | 47 Great Jones St.

Gallery Hours: Thursday to Sunday 1 to 7PM, or by appointment

Free Admission

New York, NY (September 30, 2019) — La MaMa Galleria presents the NYC premiere of CROWDS, a 3-channel video installation by filmmaker and choreographer Sarah Friedland from November 7 – December 1, 2019 as part of the 2019 Performa Biennial Consortium. 

Animating a durational dance of 22 dancers fluctuating between dozens of crowd types, CROWDS investigates the choreography of crowd typologies and the slippages between them. 

Much like a flock of murmurating birds, the thresholds between these crowd types are blurred and distorted: the rocking of bodies in prayer transmute into the shaking of raving dancers, the training exercises of sports teams slide into the structured formations of fascist spectacles. CROWDS articulates the choreographic register embedded in our political discourses and polemics. 

The dance evolves through choreographic shifts that signal the thresholds and transitions between one crowd type and another. Utilizing an archive of sensational to amateur YouTube videos in concert with the embodied memories of the dancers performing in this project, CROWDS reveals what is amassed and what is lost as we gather and disperse. Presented simultaneously and synchronously across three overlapping screens, each more intimate than the next, the three channels oscillate in their timing, emphasizing the distinct privileges and disadvantages of each viewing position. The viewer’s body enacts the edit between channels – and points of view – by shifting their position within the installation space. No viewer can experience an all-encompassing view of the crowd. 

CROWDS received its world premiere at the Ann Arbor Film Festival in March 2019. It was produced by Brighid Greene and Sarah Friedland, co-produced by Art Factory International, and generously supported by the Bologna Film Commission, a grant from the New York State Council of the Arts and Wave Farm, and 118 Kickstarter backers. 


CROWDS is on view at La MaMa Galleria from November 7 through December 1, 2019 Opening Reception: Thursday, November 7 from 6 – 8 pm Thursday-Sunday: 1 – 7 pm, or by appointment. Closed Thanksgiving Day 

Admission to CROWDS is free 

47 Great Jones Street, New York, New York, 10012Located on the ground floor, La Galleria is wheelchair accessible


Thursday, November 21, 2019 at 7 pm Sarah Friedland will be in conversation with Tess Takahashi, scholar, writer, and film programmer, to discuss the process of making CROWDS and the influence of crowd choreography on Tess’s work on data visualization and large scale art installation. 


Sarah Friedland is a filmmaker and choreographer working at the intersection of moving images and moving bodies. Her work has screened and been presented in numerous festivals and film spaces including New Directors/New Films, Ann Arbor Film Festival, and BAMcinématek, in art spaces such as MoMA, Sharjah Art Foundation, MAM Rio, and the Wassaic Project, and in dance spaces including the American Dance Festival and Dixon Place. Her work has been supported by Film at Lincoln Center, Berlinale Talents, Dance Films Association, and the New York State Council of the Arts, among others. 

See Also
XU TIANTIAN, DNA: URBAN ACUPUNCTURE. Image: The Songyang Story, 2019. Photo by Wang Ziling.


The eighth edition of the Performa Biennial once again celebrates the extraordinary vitality, inventiveness and significance of New York as a leading global performance capital of the world in three weeks of exciting programming, from November 1–24, 2019, at locations throughout New York City.

ABOUT LaMaMa Galleria

Founded in 1984, La MaMa’s La Galleria is a nonprofit gallery committed to nurturing artistic experimentation. La Galleria serves its neighborhood as a venue that encourages an active dialogue between the visual arts, new media, performance, and curatorial and educational projects. Its goal is to offer programming that reaches beyond the expectations of traditional gallery and institutional exhibition-making, to a diverse and intergenerational audience.

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