american deluxe was made possible through far sighted and generous production funding from the Greenwall Foundation, a two year production grant from the Jerome Foundation, commissioning from the Whitney Museum of American Art at Philip Morris, the Company Residency program of The Yard and a space grant from the Pick-up Performance Company. Touring support for this work was received from The Fund for U.S. Artists at International Festivals and Exhibitions.

Benefit Contributors: Georgia Delano, Judy and Jules Moskowitz, Micki Wesson, Laurie Uprichard, Oliver & Joan Gayley, Caroline S. Keating, Frances Kazan, Deborah Singer, Molly Davies, Christina R. Yang, Ruth Lande Shuman

american deluxe (2001)

Conversations and observation, some bad behavior, a few books and an exhibition, spread over years were condensed into american deluxe. When asked I say that its about my relationship to violence, but I mean violence in a large sense: socio-political violence: as both escape and the means of return; the aesthetic violence: that makes the reflections in a mirror appear; the theological violence implied by the infinite reflections between any and all that allow me to explore me and find you, and nature and everything else. It’s those reflections, the mesmerizing beauty of their articulation that the work is about.


Bill Viola’s 1992 video/sound installation, “Slowly Turning Narrative” with its’ large revolving panel, and Robert Calasso’s 1998 book “Ka: Stories of the Mind and Gods of India”, both  influenced the structure and subtext of american deluxe.

Cast & Credits

Concept and Construction: Dean Moss

Original Cast: Kacie Chang, Jason Marchant, Hiromi Naruse, Dean Moss

Score [sections 2-5]: Stephen Vitiello [score includes prerecorded

segments of music by Stephen Vitiello performed by guest musicians Paul Geluso, Rebecca Moore, Pauline Oliveros, Dean Sharp];

[section 1]: mixed: Dean Moss

music: “Streets of Laredo” sung by Marty Robbins; sounds from the films “Yojimbo” and “Fist Full of Dollars”; an interview between the artist and his brother Mike Moss.

Video: imagery from the films “Yojimbo” and “Fist Full of Dollars” by Akira Kurosawa and Sergio Leone; Homemovies: Harold Moss.

Props & Video Montage: Dean Moss

Lighting Design: David Fritz

Costumes: Gia Grosso and Dean Moss

Premiere venue: Smack Mellon Studios, Brooklyn

Notable venues: The Whitney Museum of American Art; P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center; FNB Vita Dance Umbrella Festival, Johannesburg, South Africa

Duration:  55 minutes

“Within Dean Moss’s dances are visual landscapes. Haunting, extreme and complex they allow his audience to poke its head into a wholly unusual world. In his dark and dry American Deluxe, the theme is violence.” “Moss’s realization of violence is neither funny (though you may laugh out of nervousness) nor artificial: it’s harrowing.”

Gia Kourlas, Time Out New York

“Dean Moss [a] trickster, a changeling, a very smart guy with a gift for transforming concepts into dazzling images...”

Elizabeth Zimmer, The Village Voice

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