September, 18th

Monday, September 18 at 8:00 PM
Light Matter 7
A performance by David Levine based on his essay Matter of Rothko
Duration: approx. 45 minutes

On February 25, 1970, my mother received a call from Oliver Steindecker, Mark Rothko’s studio assistant, informing her that Rothko had committed suicide and was lying on the floor of his studio in a pool of blood. So my mother took a taxi and helped identify the body. She was one month pregnant with me.
Rothko had designated his three closest friends as executors of the estate: my father, Stamos (a fellow painter) and Bernard Reis (his accountant). Over the next three months, they sold or consigned all the paintings to the Marlborough Fine Art Gallery for next to nothing. In 1971, Rothko's daughter decided to sue the executors for "conspiring to waste the assets of the estate." Within two years, my father had lost his job and his marriage. Within three years “The Matter of Rothko” had become the biggest scandal the New York art world had ever seen. Within five years my father was fined $6 million for his role in the affair, and within ten he was dead.

David Levine

For the 30th issue of the online magazine Triple Canopy (July 2011), artist David Levine wrote Matter of Rothko, an essay on his father's role in the inheritance scandal surrounding the painter Mark Rothko. "I'm going to break this down very simply and as nonlibelously as possible”, wrote David Levine who produced one of the most detailed journalistic accounts of the case in existence. The performance Light Matter 7 is based on this essay. Using legal documents, found slides and negatives and secretly recorded telephone calls, David Levine recounts a series of personal events and troubling coincidences, swirling around the publication of "Matter of Rothko" (named after the court case) and offers fresh insight into one of the most famous legal and artistic imbroglios of the 20th century.

Untitled (Rothko studio), 1970-2013. Gelatin silver print, 11 x 17 '' © David Levine


Je ne vois de mon avenir que le mur de ma cuisine au papier peint défraîchi, les sœurs h and Maxime Bodson

Videos and text: Les sœurs h (Isabelle Henry Wehrlin and Marie Henry)
Live music: Maxime Bodson
Duration: approx. 30 minutes

Je ne vois de mon avenir que le mur de ma cuisine au papier peint défraîchi could be a highbrow takeoff of Dynasty with all the implicit detachment and irony. Spoof the series, copy the look, imitate the clichés and stereotypes ascribed to 60-year-old women to truly debunk them. You could say these characters are very freely unassociated with 1980s TV shows WHEN YOU HEAR the barely Hollywood-like music, WHEN YOU READ the dull yet harsh poetry, WHEN YOU SEE the unsettling sometimes off-putting tampered images AND WHEN YOU REALIZE that it's basically about yearning and boredom.
Les sœurs h

Three women are living in a deserted village leading a life of bewildering tedium. But in the skilled hands of the h sisters, the routine of Claude, Michèle and Dominique takes on a different tone. The two artists – one comes from video and lives in Switzerland, the other from writing and lives in Belgium - cut out their characters and humorously stick them onto the image projected onto two video screens on stage set up like an open book. A whimsical tale gets a rewrite rhythmed by the crooner voice of Maxime Bodson, the melancholic pop beat of his synthesizer and his homemade music instruments.

Seated show. No assigned seats.
Intermission between performances.
The Nomadic Nights start on time. The entry of the latecomers can be admitted when it does not hinder the running of the show, or can be refused.

Purchase tickets online at

Archival Material ©David Levine, 1969/2013


  • Les sœur h

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