Constance DeJong (writer)

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Constance DeJong (born 1950, Cleveland, OH) is an American artist, writer and performer. DeJong produces fiction texts and new media based work for performance and theater, audio and video installations. She has permanent audio installations in Beacon, NY, London and Seattle.[1] She is also known as the writer on the libretto of Philip Glass's opera Satyagraha, as well as her numerous collaborations with Tony Oursler on projects such as Fantastic Prayers.[2] DeJong has exhibited internationally with projects produced by organizations such as the Dia Foundation for the Arts and Minetta Brook. She is a professor of art and time-based media at Hunter College.

Satyagraha was put into a new production at the Metropolitan Opera in New York in April, 2008.[3] In 2006 she wrote the text for SuperVision, a collaboration with The Builder's Association which premiered at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis and at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) in New York City.

DeJong's writing is closely tied to performative practice. Her first book, Modern Love, was published in 1977 by Standard Editions, a short-lived imprint co-founded by DeJong and Dorothea Tanning. In 1978, this text was adapted into a 60-minute radio program accompanied by the "Modern Love Waltz" a piano composition by Philip Glass. A new facsimile edition was published in 2017 by Primary Information and Ugly Duckling Presse.[4]

A subsequent work published in 1978, The Lucy Amarillo Stories, is a collection of poetry also read aloud by the artist in a 1977 performance at The Kitchen. Glass wrote a duet for flute and harmonica, titled 'Lucy's Music', for the Kitchen performances. The music was performed by Richard Landry and Ken Deifik.

In 2017, DeJong worked with Triple Canopy to produce NightWriters, a performance and artist's book.[5]

Selected writings[edit]

  • NightWriters. Triple Canopy, 2017.
  • Modern Love. Primary Information/Ugly Duckling Presse, 2017 (ISBN 978-0-991558-52-0).
  • SpeakChamber. Bureau, 2013 (limited edition).
  • Modern Love. Standard Editions, 1977 (N7433.4.D44 1977).
  • The Lucy Amarillo Stories. Standard Editions, 1978 (ISBN 0-918746-03-5).
  • Satyagraha, M.K. Gandhi in South Africa, 1893–1914. Tanam Press, 1983 (ISBN 0-934378-43-6).
  • I.T.I.L.O.E. Top Stories, 1983.


  1. ^ "Constance DeJong". 205 Hudson. Retrieved 2018-03-03. 
  2. ^ Foundation, Dia Art. "Dia | Program | Tony Oursler, Constance DeJong, Stephen Vitiello: Fantastic Prayers". Retrieved 2018-03-03. 
  3. ^ Tommasini, Anthony (2008-04-14). "'Satyagraha' at the Met: The Fanciful in Service of the Spiritual". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-03-03. 
  4. ^ "The History & Reissue of Constance DeJong's Modern Love by Harriet Staff". Poetry Foundation. Poetry Foundation. 2018-03-09. Retrieved 2018-03-09. 
  5. ^ "Constance DeJong — Hunter College". Retrieved 2018-03-10. 

External links[edit]