Transforms the Remains of Jacob’s Pillow’s Doris Duke Theatre

Yve Laris Cohen: Studio/Theater features several performers with Pillow connections 

Yve Laris Cohen: Studio/Theater

October 8, 2022 – January 1, 2023

Floor 4, The Marie-Josée and Henry Kravis Studio

The Museum of Modern Art, New York

October 20, 2022 (BECKET, Mass.)— Jacob’s Pillow is pleased to share that the Doris Duke Theatre, which was lost to a fire in November 2020, is now featured as part of the new installation, Yve Laris Cohen: Studio Theater, commissioned by The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City. Currently on view through January 1, 2023 in MoMA’s Marie-Josée and Henry Kravis Studio, installation and performance artist, Yve Laris Cohen, uses the remains of the theater to raise questions about what constitutes a theater, and how these spaces are themselves fragile and interdependent. Yve Laris Cohen: Studio Theater is organized by Martha Joseph, The Phyllis Ann and Walter Borten Assistant Curator of Media and Performance, with May Makki, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Media and Performance, The Museum of Modern Art. Performances are produced by Lizzie Gorfaine, Producer, with Jessie Gold, Assistant Performance Coordinator, and Olivia Rousey, Assistant Performance Coordinator, Performance and Live Programs, The Museum of Modern Art.

“It is stunning and hugely moving to see the two sections of wall that survived the fire mounted in an exhibition space alongside other re-configured objects that remained,” said Pamela Tatge, Executive and Artistic Director of Jacob’s Pillow. “Audiences are provided with a space to commune with the bones of a place that was so animated by artists and audiences for thirty years; it’s a space of reflection and tragic beauty.”

In addition to the installation, Studio/Theater also consists of two performance events, titled Preservation and Conservation, that alternate weekly on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. over the course of the exhibition. Created in part during a 2021 Pillow Lab residency at Jacob’s Pillow, Preservation features several performers with connections to the Pillow, including former Jacob’s Pillow executive director, Liz Thompson and the Pillow’s current Director of Preservation, Norton Owen. In 2021, Laris Cohen further developed both the installation and performances for Studio/Theater through a research residency in the archives of Jacob’s Pillow.  

“This exhibition is a poetic meditation on the afterlives of performance and the way all organic and inorganic materials change and decay,” said Joseph. “The installation and performances ask us to consider the fragility of objects, bodies, and our own cultural Institutions.”

Laris Cohen creates installations and performances that challenge the conventions of dance and visual art. His work uses elements of theatrical architecture—walls, curtains, rigging systems, and sprung floors—and considers the everyday labor that goes into constructing, handling, and maintaining them. These materials transform over time, whether from physical deterioration, active repair, or changing status from architecture into artwork and back again. Previous exhibitions by Laris Cohen have looked at damaged sets or decommissioned theater buildings to open up questions of value in the respective economies of art and performance. At times, drawing connections between structural damage and bodily illness, the artist stages narratives of trauma and care, conflict and support, vulnerability and dependency.

Watch the short film Inside the Pillow Lab: Yve Laris Cohen here:

Watch the PillowTalk from Festival 2022 “Studio/Theater” at MoMA here:

Studio/Theater is commissioned by The Museum of Modern Art, New York. 

Preservation was created in part during a residency at the Pillow Lab at Jacob’s Pillow.


Jacob’s Pillow is a National Historic Landmark, recipient of the National Medal of Arts, and home to America’s longest-running international dance festival, recently celebrating its 90th Anniversary Season. Jacob’s Pillow acknowledges that it rests on the unceded lands of the Muh-he-con-ne-ok and recognizes the Agawam, Nipmuc, and Pocumtuc who also made their homes in Western Massachusetts. We honor their elders past, present, and future. Each Festival includes national and international dance companies and free and ticketed performances, talks, tours, classes, exhibits, events, and community programs. The School at Jacob’s Pillow, one of the field’s most prestigious professional dance training centers, encompasses the diverse disciplines of Contemporary Ballet, Contemporary, Tap, Photography, Choreography, and an annual rotating program. The Pillow also provides professional advancement opportunities across disciplines of arts administration, design, video, and production through seasonal internships and a year-round Administrative Fellows program. With growing community engagement programs, the Pillow serves as a partner and active citizen in its local community. The Pillow’s extensive Archives, open year-round to the public and online at, chronicle more than a century of dance in photographs, programs, books, costumes, audiotapes, and videos. Notable artists who have created or premiered dances at the Pillow include choreographers Antony Tudor, Agnes de Mille, Alvin Ailey, Donald McKayle, Kevin McKenzie, Twyla Tharp, Ralph Lemon, Susan Marshall, Trisha Brown, Ronald K. Brown, Wally Cardona, Andrea Miller, and Trey McIntyre; performed by artists such as Mikhail Baryshnikov, Carmen de Lavallade, Mark Morris, Dame Margot Fonteyn, Edward Villella, Rasta Thomas, and hundreds of others. On March 2, 2011, President Barack Obama honored Jacob’s Pillow with a National Medal of Arts, the highest arts award given by the United States Government, making the Pillow the first dance presenting organization to receive this prestigious award. The Pillow’s Executive and Artistic Director since 2016 is Pamela Tatge. For more information, visit

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