The Vilcek Foundation premiered a new short film, keys to my city, produced with dancer and choreographer Alice Gosti.
Born in Calabria, Italy, Gosti was named a Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise Honoree in Dance in 2012. The foundation’s production of the film celebrates the contributions of immigrant dance and movement artists to contemporary dance in the United States.
Gosti immigrated to the U.S. to pursue studies at the University of Washington, Seattle. Her artistic practice focuses on material culture and society’s relationships to material objects. Gosti incorporates everyday objects, food, and props into her performances; these elements engage audiences viscerally, and invite viewers to question and explore their own relationships to material culture.
In keys to my city, Gosti and collaborators Lorraine Lau and Alyza DelPan-Monley perform wearing a dress made of more than 1,500 keys. The keys were received as donations from locksmiths in Gosti’s adoptive home of Seattle, and include broken, discarded, unclaimed, and unfinished keys; the dress, constructed by Gosti, weighs more than 30 pounds (13.6 kilograms). The physical and psychic weight of the object inspires and influences the performers’ movements.
“I’m interested in looking at the way that history and politics enter the body and condition the way we move and the way we relate to each other,” says Gosti. “The key is a metaphor for not only places but also ideas: concepts and imagination, memories and dreams.”
Says Vilcek Foundation President Rick Kinsel, “With keys to my city, Gosti demonstrates her ability to break convention in meaningful and engaging ways. The piece merges aspects of sculpture, performance art, and choreography.” He says, “It is a testament to the value of the Vilcek Foundation Prizes to see how Gosti’s work has evolved since her receipt of the honor 10 years ago.”
keys to my city can be viewed on the Vilcek Foundation website, and on the Vilcek Foundation’s YouTube channel.