Adam Linder works with choreography in multiple formats; his pieces are often presented on stage or in an exhibition space. Linder’s practice focuses on the specifics of dance and how the medium relates to notions of value, desire, technology and collective psyche. At age of fifteen, Linder was scouted by The Royal Ballet School in London and left Australia to pursue a career as a dancer. Linder’s rigorous early training was later consolidated during formative years spent performing with Michael Clark Company and Meg Stuart’s Damaged Goods where he developed the critical and experimental strands that inform his choreographic work.
Linder gained wide recognition with his Choreographic Services (2013-ongoing), a series of performative works that can be hired on an hourly basis. The first service, Some Cleaning (2013), saw Linder choreograph the gestures of cleaning, turning commonplace actions into a series of movements that took on their own formal significance. The hiring of the Choreographic Services calls into question how we monetize labor, and what kinds of work we consider to be valuable. In doing so, the artist challenges his own understanding of the special relationship between body and choreography: “To treat choreography as an object that can be bought, that is then possessed, that is then transferred…is antithetical for me to the idea of choreography in which the activity, the knowledge, is really held in the body.”
While in residence at Callie’s from June to December of 2018, Linder developed his first opera, The WANT, which premiered at the HAU and has toured internationally. Inspired by Bernard-Marie Koltès’ 1985 play In the Solitude of the Cotton Fields, The WANT is structured around an exchange between a client and a dealer. Composed by Ethan Braun, staged by artist Shahryar Nashat, and with a libretto by Adam Linder and Sarah Lehrer-Graiwer, the work contemplates desire and the way it both animates and alienates us. As the four performers oscillate between combative and intimate roles, the opera speculates on our ability to know ourselves, let alone another.
Following The WANT, Linder returned to Callie’s in 2019 to develop She Clockwork, which premiered in Venice at the Victoria Art Foundation the same year. Most recently, Linder presented his commissioned work for six dancers Shelf Life (2020) at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.