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Martin Creed
Work No. 1020 (Ballet)

Nov 15–16, 2012

“So genial and enjoyable the vast intricacy of it only starts to tickle your mind afterwards. It’s art alive.”
—The Herald

Fortified with a generous sense of humor, Martin Creed reevaluates the status of art in this virtuosic mash up of music and movement. The Turner Prize–winning artist defines his artistic embrace broadly, from monumental neon signs to poetic objects made from crumpled paper. For this performance, his first ballet, Creed plays lead guitar with his London-based band, joined by phenomenal dancers from the original Sadler Wells production. Creed’s challenge—to compose a work using only the five core positions of classical ballet, each paired with a musical note—creates the conditions for a beguiling collision of rules and spontaneity.

The performance is presented in conjunction with Creed’s year-long MCA artist-in-residence project, in which he creates one visual or performance art work each month throughout 2012.

Running time: 80 minutes
Recommended for adult audiences. Some of the videos contain mature and graphic content. Strobe lights will be used during the performance.


Program Notes

Martin Creed: Work No. 1020 (Ballet) from MCA Chicago on Vimeo.

About the artist

Martin Creed is one of the United Kingdom’s leading artists and winner of the 2001 Turner Prize. He lives and works in London and spends time in Alicudi, Italy. Creed’s work has been exhibited widely at a variety of international venues, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Moscow Museum of Modern Art; the Centre Pompidou–Metz, France; Tate Modern, London; and Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, the Netherlands.

Work No. 1020 is part of a yearlong MCA residency (Jan–Dec 2012), Martin Creed Plays Chicago, his first in the United States. Designed as an accumulating exhibition with a different work each month, the residency enlivens the museum and the city by involving visitors in unexpected ways.

More about Martin Creed


Work No. 1020 is made possible with support from the British Council, Caryn and King Harris, Lois and Steve Eisen and The Eisen Family Foundation, and David Herro and Jay Franke.


Lead support for the Martin Creed Residency is provided by Helen and Sam Zell.

Major support is provided by Margot and George Greig.


Official Airline of the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago