Photograph: Anthony Rocco

Photograph: Anthony Rocco

A Movie Star Needs A Movie

Choreography and Text: Jack Ferver
Performers: Jack Ferver & Liz Santoro
Film and Photography: Jason Akira Somma
Costumes: Reid Bartelme
Music: Sebastian Tellier & Chris Lancaster

A Movie Star Needs A Movie is a darkly satirical new work by Jack Ferver about the relationship between shallow ambition and fame. As Ferver and performer Liz Santoro explore themes of self exploitation and cavort for attention, spectators enable the spectacle and, through their attendance, validate the thesis. This work critically engages the tricky issue of culpability in a viewer’s gaze and the inescapable self mythologies that emerge when calling oneself an artist (i.e., the performance of identity). With every emotional nuance enlarged to grotesque proportions and projected onto a wall via live-feed, Ferver approaches these concerns head-on and without shame, challenging you to watch and daring you to look away. 

With his mad blue Bette Davis eyes and penchant for public suffering, he is good at making a spectacle of himself, and- more to the point- he excels at making his audiences deeply uncomfortable. While he constructs and subverts identity, presenting and manipulating images of sexuality, abuse, and self love, those of us watching are implicated in his physically raw, violent works. We can’t look away, and naturally, we don’t want to.
— - Claudia La Rocco, The New York Times
Although Ferver is rubbed with a patina that has one shuffling through references (from Jack Smith to John Kelly, Bette Davis to Bette Midler), he nonetheless occupies his current situation, even if he always simultaneously renders it productively shaky.
— - Johanna Burton, Artforum
He writes and choreographs challenging, provocative dance theater that explores sexuality, identity, and, loosely stated, the horrible things people to do one another in the service of their own fragile egos.
— Kris Wilton, Modern Painters


2010  Théâtre de Vanves. Vanves, France

2010   Abrons Art Center. American Realness. New York, New York.

2009 *The New Museum. New York, New York.



A Movie Star Needs A Movie premiered at The New Museum in 2009 and returned as part of American Realness at Abrons Art Center in 2010. A Movie Star Needs A Movie was originally developed with a commission from The New Museum as part of the RE:NEW RE:PLAY residency series, curated by Travis Chamberlain.