Sacha Yanow, Cherie Dre (installation view), 2016. Photo by Jonah Levine.

Sacha Yanow: Cherie Dre

Image Gallery Exhibition File

September 9 - October 9, 2016

Public reception with the artist: Friday, September 9, 4:30 – 6:30 pm at the Cooley

The Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery, Reed College, is proud to present Cherie Dre: New York-based artist Sacha Yanow’s immersive new installation. The exhibition is part of a larger solo performance project about Cherie Dre, the showgirl alter ego of Yanow’s grandmother who suffered from bipolar disorder before modern diagnoses and treatment. Developing the performance at the Cooley, Yanow transforms the gallery into an environmental stage set: a psychological, social, and physical landscape. At times, visitors may encounter Yanow working and rehearsing in the space. Yanow embodies her own imagining of Cherie Dre through covers of Yiddish pop songs by the Barry Sisters, dance routines, monologues, and conversations with her grandmother. The space is simultaneously her grandmother’s bedroom in the Bronx in the 1950s, Cherie Dre’s ballroom stage at the Concord resort hotel in the Catskills, and Yanow’s own research area. As in Yanow’s previous work, Cherie Dre weaves together personal experience with broader queer and feminist social histories. Specifically, Cherie Dre excavates the artist’s relationship to gender and femininity, magical thinking, gambling, and performance, alongside the history of the Borscht Belt and Jewish entertainers in America. 

West Coast Premiere, September 15, 7:00 pm 
Black Box Theatre, Performing Arts Building, Reed College 
Part of The Portland Institute for Contemporary Art’s 2016 Time-Based Art Festival
Free with reservation

Dad Band is an intimate psychological portrait of Yanow’s father, her internalized dad, and patriarchy in general. “Dad” covers and lip-syncs to his favorite songs from the 50s and 60s, shares footage of his 1970s winning appearance on the To Tell the Truth game show, presents motivational speeches, and more. Dad’s button-down shirts become his costumes, his yellow notepad— usually reserved for stock market details— contains his setlist, and his Agatha Christie novel collection and Wall Street Journal become his props. Over the course of the evening, we get to know Dad as he dances, sings, screams, and lectures. Dad Band and Cherie Dre are companion pieces, part of Yanow’s ongoing investigation of personal and social histories through queer embodying. Originally commissioned by The New Museum, New York in 2015, Dad Band was conceived and premiered during Wynne Greenwood’s Kelly exhibition at The New Museum; Kelly was curated by Johanna Burton, Stephanie Snyder, and Sara O’Keeffe.

Sacha Yanow is a New York City-based artist and actor. Her solo performance works include: Dad Band, New Museum, New York (2015); Silent Film (in development), The Lab, San Francisco, Pieter, Los Angeles, and MAPP/Greenwood Cemetery, Brooklyn, NY (2015), Dixon Place, New York (2014), and Movement Research Festival, New York (2013); and The Prince, Dixon Place, New York (2013). Her residencies and awards include: LMCC Process Space (2016); SOMA, Mexico City (2015); Dixon Place, New York (2014); Yaddo, Saratoga Springs, New York (2012); and The Field, New York (2011). She was creative consultant for Elisabeth Subrin’s feature film A Woman A Part (2016), and co-director and dramaturge for Dynasty Handbag’s performance piece Soggy Glasses (The Broad/REDCAT 2016, Brooklyn Academy of Music 2014). Yanow received a BA from Sarah Lawrence College and is a graduate of the William Esper Studio Actor Training Program.

Written and performed by Sacha Yanow 
Dramaturge: Morgan Bassichis 
Costumes: Signe Mae Olson 

Cherie Dre is curated by Stephanie Snyder, John and Anne Hauberg Curator and Director, Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery, Reed College.