Dance and video artist, Jillian Peña creates works influenced by psychoanalysis, queer theory, pop media, and spirituality. In Open Studios, audiences are invited to a special showing and discussion about her latest project-in-progress, Panopticon, a mythical dance situation that rearranges the architecture of power in the performance space.

The dance takes inspiration from the architectural concept of the Panopticon conceived in the late 1700ʼs by English architect Jeremy Bentham, who originally designed this structure to be used in prisons. The Panopticon is a circular layout in which everybody can be seen at all times (pan = all, optic = seeing). Michel Foucault talks about the Panopticon in his book, Discipline and Punish, explaining how it stands as a metaphor for the division and distribution of modern disciplinary power. Foucault predicted that the structure of the panopticon would be evidenced in social relations through bodies. “We are neither in the amphitheatre, nor on the stage, but in the panoptic machine.” He continues, “we are part of its mechanism” (Discipline and Punish, p.217, Foucault).

The discussion component of this Open Studios event will be moderated by Extended Life Dance Development artist-in-residence, Michelle Boulé.

Featured Image Photo Credit: Chris Sellers

Thursday, June 30 at 6:00 pm
at LMCC’s Studios at 125 Maiden Lane



FREE. RSVP Required. Capacity is limited. To RSVP, fill out this form.

Panopticon was commissioned by Performance Space 122 through the RAMP residency program with support from the Jerome Foundation.

Jillian Peña is a participant in Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Extended Life Dance Development program made possible in part by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.