Born 1949 in New York, USA Lives and works in Frankfurt am Main, Germany
William Forsythe is widely considered one of the world’s foremost choreographers. During his long association with the Frankfurt Ballet and later with the Forsythe Company, he developed his unique concepts for dance, combining an often extreme physical vocabulary with experimental music, spoken word and video projection. Recognised for deconstructing and reorienting the practice of ballet, Forsythe’s works have moved beyond any identification with a classical repertoire, to a dynamic art form for the twenty-first century. Alongside and in dialogue with his choreographic work, Forsythe has also developed a diverse practice incorporating elaborate architectural, multimedia and performance installations.
Nowhere and Everywhere at the Same Time was originally developed in 2005 as a work for a solo dancer, Brock Labrenz, who developed an intuitive lexicon of movement within a field of pendulums, suspended from the ceiling in an abandoned building on New York’s historic High Line. In the years since, the installation has continued to evolve, presented within an array of spaces and to varied effects, whether activated by dancers or by random passers-by, as with this latest automated realisation, Nowhere and Everywhere at the Same Time, no. 2, 2013, at Cockatoo Island.
Conceived as another in Forsythe’s series of ‘choreographic objects’, which he says are not simply substitutes for the human form, but instead provide ‘an alternative site for the understanding of potential instigation and organisation of action to reside’. The title, Nowhere and Everywhere at the Same Time, is drawn from the writings of the blind French Second World War resistance fighter Jacques Lusseyran, who famously described the inner sense of vision that enabled him to see and manipulate thoughts and forms as a boundless mental screen. This was, he wrote, ‘always as big as I needed it to be. Because it was nowhere in space it was everywhere at the same time.’
While many other artists at this venue reveal an increasingly ambiguous relationship to the real, with this work, the focus returns to the corporeal and to presence. Just as Forsythe’s approach to choreography has transformed his dancers into physical echo chambers, here, he challenges how we understand the space of our own bodies. In the process of navigating this labyrinthine field, the viewer attains unconscious choreographic competence, and the resulting dance is one of avoidance – at once lively and intricate – based on the predictive faculties of any would-be participant. Whether running, writhing or playing in the spaces that momentarily open up, everyday movements ultimately bring awareness to the weightedness that comes with being and moving in the world: where you have to move to know.
William Forsythe has been active in the field of choreography for over 45 years, with a 20-year tenure as director of the Ballet Frankfurt (1984–2004). Since forming the Forsythe Company in 2005, he has created works that have featured in the repertoire of virtually every major ballet company in the world. His architectural and performance installations, or choreographic objects – including Black Flags, 2014; Everywhere and Nowhere at the Same Time No. 2, 2013; The Fact of Matter, 2009; and others – have been exhibited at MoMA, New York (2010); the Venice Biennale (2005, 2009, 2012, 2014); and the MMK, Museum of Modern Art, Frankfurt (2015), among many other international venues.
 William Forsythe, Choreographic Objects, www.williamforsythe.de/essay.html, accessed 8 November 2015.  Jacques Lusseyran, And There Was Light (1963), 4th edn, trans. Elizabeth R. Cameron, New World Library, Novato, CA, 2014, p. 33.