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Just Back from Los Angeles: A Portrait of Yvonne Rainer


Adam Pendleton’s Just Back From Los Angeles: A Portrait of Yvonne Rainer is the third in a series of video portraits, following My Education: A Portrait of David Hilliard, the former chief of staff for the Black Panthers, and Lorraine O'Grady: A Portrait. The text below represents a transcription of the script Pendleton prepared for Rainer to read during their day spent filming at the Ridgeway Diner in Chelsea. The text mixes citations from Stokely Carmichael, Malcom X, Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, and excerpts from Rainer’s own published works; the film ends with the gospel song “I Am Saved” by the Silver Harpes over the footage of Rainer’s now canonical movement work Trio A. Whether read or viewed, Just Back from Los Angeles is an uncanny work, one that deploys the double meaning of the word “movement”—now choreography, now social uprising—to reveal a shared method of freedom coursing beneath traditions typically received separately.

They're beginning to see what they used to only look at …

I remember the breathlessness of the lifting section

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