Shir Ende
Movements for a Couch

1224 W Loyola Ave, Chicago IL
February 7, 2022 - February 20, 2022

I’ve been interested in Yvonne Rainer’s ability to make everyday movements into a form of dance through simple choreography and scores — this has been at the core of my own artistic inquiry for a long time. When I saw her D.I.Y. Dance for Your Home in the New York Times, I was excited to try to make my own score, especially because making art at home has been challenging for me.

Repetition is an important element in Rainer’s work and in D.I.Y. Dance for Your Home — one which I’ve adapted in my work, Walking a Floor Plan. For Rainer, repetition creates “uninflected continuity.” For me, it materializes proximity. But when I tried to come up with a score for the couch, I found myself wanting to test out the different ways my partner, Max, and I could move with or on the piece of furniture. So we went into the frame without clear instructions, and tried different ways of interacting with the couch while trying to anticipate what the other would do. The couch became a structure on a playground, where the rules of the game were constantly changing. The video turned out to be a compilation of playful experiments, in which we sit, stand, and walk on the couch in different variations.

For Rainer, establishing rules for this dance is essential. I have also found rule-making to be helpful in other contexts, but taking an improvisational approach has provided a level of frustration, curiosity, intimacy and playfulness that I found to be quite generative.

        — Shir Ende

Movements for a Couch was first shared through Experiments in Performance, an online program by Mana Contemporary in May 2020. This iteration at Roman Susan will be on view directly from the street after sunset, while the space is closed to the public.

Shir Ende is a Chicago-based artist and educator. Ende received her BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and her MFA from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She has shown at University of Illinois Springfield, Riverside Art Center, Comfort Station, Chicago Artist Coalition, Hyde Park Art Center, Heaven Gallery, Gallery 400, Terrain Biennial, Mana Contemporary, Woman Made Gallery, and was a sponsored artist at High Concept Labs. She has participated in the Center Program at the Hyde Park Art Center and was a 2018 - 2019 Hatch Resident at the Chicago Artist Coalition. For more information, please visit