Kathy Rose
Master Lecturer
MFA, California Institute of the Arts
BFA, Philadelphia College of Art

Kathy Rose’s work has evolved from her early drawn animated films of the 1970s,  through her unique, pioneering performance work combining dance with film in the 1980-1990s, to her current surreal performance-video spectacles and installations, with influence from symbolist art and the Japanese Noh theater. Rose received a Guggenheim Fellowship in Performance Art in 2003, and in 2005 was awarded a New York State Council on the Arts grant in Video (Media & New Technology).

Rose has toured extensively in live performance throughout the United States and Europe, her numerous appearances include the Museum of Modern Art’s Cineprobe, Kennedy Center, Serious Fun at Lincoln Center, Fondation Cartier pour l’art Contemporain, the Walker Art Center,The Kitchen, Institute of Contemporary Art in London, Danspace-St. Marks Church, Baltimore Art Museum, Akademie der Kunst/Berlin, Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon, Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art, as well as performances in Geneva,  Helsinki, Amsterdam, Hiroshima, etc. Her video installation works have been exhibited at the Victoria & Albert Museum, Aldrich Museum, Cooper Union and others.

She has received six grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, four from the New York State Council for the Arts and three from the New York Foundation for the Arts, as well as grants from Harvestworks Digital, the Marie Walsh Sharpe Art Foundation, American Film Institute, Finishing Funds/Experimental Video Center and others. Grants were awarded in categories including film, dance, choregraphy and video. Rose is a Distinguished Alumna of the California Institute of the Arts.

Her recent videos have shown in many festivals including: "Parallel Irrealities" at the Black Maria Film Festival; "Life in the Web" has shown at the Ann Arbor Film Festival  2007, Atlanta Video Festival  2007, Syracuse Video Festival  2007, USA Film Festival at Rutgers 2007; "Digifest" has shown at Venice Italy Motion Pictures 5th Annual Dance Film/Video Festival, Wilma Theater, Philadelphia Short Film Market/Cannes, 2D or not 2D Animation Festival November Dance 07.

Dance on Camera, N.Y.; IL COREOGRAFO ELETTRONICO, Naples, Italy; Dance Camera West at the Redcat Theater, Los Angeles; Budapest Autumn Festival; American Dance Festival; Montage Video Dance, Johannesburg, South Africa; Dance 07 Dance/Video Festival, Edinburgh, Scotland; and Motion Pictures 07 Dance Film/Video Festival Philadelphia.

Recent performances include: "Ingenuity", the Cleveland Festival of Art Music and Technology; "The Cathedral of Emptiness", the Ammerman Center for Arts and Technology at Connecticut College - 12th Biennial Symposium for Arts and Technology, etc.

Rose lives and works in Philadelphia, teaching several courses at the University of the Arts, including Image and Performance, Dance and Media, Autobiographical Art, and History of Performance Art. She has a BFA in Film from the Philadelphia College of Art (1971) and an MFA in Animation from the California Institute of the Arts (1974).

Artist Statement:

"In my performance, video, and installation work - each medium affects and transforms the other. From the gold masked figure and dripping empty-eyed face in "Queen of the Fluids", to the eerie floating mask in "Interiosity" and the puppet constructs of "She", "Inn of Floating Imagery",  I am constantly creating a pictorial female art persona, often with inspiration from the supernatural figures portrayed in Japanese theater and art."

My work since 1983 has involved the integration of myself and other dancers with projected film, and video  in performances and single channel works.   I am intrigued with creating art that is hypnotic and challenging to our perception.

My work involves creating a new stage metaphysics - an eerie irreality. In performance, my consistent intent has been to extend the film/video element into a greater poetic and physical dimensionality by virtue of the live context in performance. I have found that the performance aspect itself has to be graphically strong and yet coalesce with its imagistic environment. Too much activity from any of the elements – performance,  or video - destroys the organic unity of the whole, fracturing the illusion.  With one medium entering freely into the world of the other,  I can subvert the forms to create a new genre.

In recent work - “The Vocabulary of the Veils” incorporated my performance in a setting of suspended veils accompanied by eerie life sized sculptural video puppets.   I made extensive use of veils as a porous medium - a way to voyage just below the surface of our known reality.  The veils let some imagery pass through and not others, and I found myself working to find their language. An added influence in this piece was the work of symbolist artists such as Odilon Redon, and Spanish painting of the 19th century.

"The Cathedral of Emptiness" and "Interiosity" continue to elaborate on the use of veils and projections, integrating the live performance within to create a hypnotic and mesmerizing experience.

I have been significantly influenced by the supernatural art and theater of Japan, including Japanese Noh and Bunraku theater, and Butoh dance.  In a previous work, completed with a Guggenheim grant, -“Kleopat’Ra“ - I combined film with performance – melding a Noh theater influence with Egyptian statuary, and portrayng a figurine, wearing gilded makeup, with eyes painted on my lids. Towards the end of the performance, the eyes dripped off my face dribbling onto the floor, signifying the spirit leaving the body of the figurine.  I have since been working with this empty-eyed invented character, recast as an iconographic female personage.

Most of my shooting of video sets for recent work has been done in miniature, resulting in a more totemic effect when this imagery is projected onto the stage area and the live performer is set within them. In creating this work, I use a doll standing in for my live self, on a small “stage“ in order to experiment with my design of the event. The work of japanese puppet animator Kihichiro Kawamoto who created a number of beautiful films using miniature sets has also been very inspirational for me.

I have also been very affected by the work of Walt Whitman, such as his poem “The  Sleepers“ with his imagery depicting the unconscious and his feeling for the universal and community of mankind.

View video clips of her work.



Class Schedule, Fall 2017

T07:00PM - 09:50PMImage and Performance
T07:00PM - 09:50PMImage and Performance
T07:00PM - 09:50PMCollab: Image and Performance
T07:00PM - 09:50PMCollab: Image and Performance
F10:00AM - 02:20PMCollab: Suprntrl in Asian Art
F10:00AM - 02:20PMCollab: Suprntrl in Asian Art

Contact Info

Office: Terra Hall 1501C
Tel: 215-717-6300
Fax: 215-717-6304