Company Wayne McGregor
Ben Cullen Williams
Premiere date and venue
4 October 2017, Sadler's Wells, London
Autobiography, Wayne McGregor’s most personal work to date, will be the first piece he creates in his own, recently opened space, Studio Wayne McGregor.
“..our ability to read out the sequence of our own genome has the makings of a philosophical paradox. Can an intelligent being comprehend the instructions to make itself?”
– 'The Common Thread' John Sulston & Georgina Ferry
In the summer of 2017, Wayne McGregor will embark on arguably his boldest and most intimate collaboration to date, as he allows world-leading geneticists to sequence his entire genome. The personal biological archaeology thus laid bare will dramatically alter McGregor’s viewpoint on his own life-story, tracing patterns back into the ancestral past of our species and illuminating what creates our individuality. Combining memoir, documentary, and a re-processing of nature’s code through an act of human imagination, this new work charts McGregor’s adventure into his autobiography, and asks how to understand a life.
“..it is impossible to understand organismal and cellular biology or evolution – or human pathology, behaviour, temperament, illness, race, and identity or fate – without first reckoning on the concept of the gene.”
– 'The Gene, An Intimate History' Siddhartha Mukherjee
Autobiography marks the first piece McGregor will create in his own recently opened space, Studio Wayne McGregor. Located in the heart of technology and media centre Here East, the space embodies McGregor’s life-long interest in research and collaboration with science and technology research, and will be his centre for experimental creative projects in biology and genetics, AI, VR and new technologies.
Artistic collaborators on Autobiography include set design by Hackney-based artist and designer Ben Cullen Williams whose clients include Calvin Klein, Erdem and The Serpentine Gallery. Music is by electronic musician Jlin, a former steel mill worker from Gary, Indiana, credited with bringing a unique sound to the Chicago-born footwork genre. Her debut album, Dark Energy, was released in 2015 to critical acclaim. Black Origami, her long-awaited second album, is released on 19 May 2017. Lighting is by long-standing collaborator and award-winning lighting designer Lucy Carter.
Co-produced by Studio Wayne McGregor; Sadler’s Wells, London, UK; Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg; Edinburgh International Festival, UK; Festspielhaus St Pölten, Austria.
Co-commissioned by Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, London, UK; Festival Diaghilev. P.S., St Petersburg, Russia; West Kowloon Cultural District, Hong Kong.
Image by Ravi Deepres.