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Laine Rettmer is a North American visual artist and opera director. Their work explores performance, gender, desire, and methods of social control. Rettmer’s work has been presented nationally and internationally at the Vizcaya Museum; Manifesta; MoMA Public, curated by Mel Logan and Jakob Boeskov; the Museum of Fine Art, Boston; Massachusetts Institute of Technology Museum for the exhibition, Hot Steam; the Illuminus Festival; the Boston Independent Film Festival; the Yuan Art Museum; Yve Yang Gallery; Perkins and Ping; Present Company; NADA NY, NADA Presents; and AREA gallery, among others.
Rettmer's opera productions have been praised as “wickedly smart” and “devastatingly funny” by The New York Times, and “not only profound but also shattering” by the Observer. Their, Barber of Seville, was named one of the top 10 classical music productions of 2014 by the New York Times and La Bohème one of the best operas of the decade by the Observer. For four years Rettmer was the resident stage director for the New York based company LoftOpera, with whom their last production, Macbeth, received a Freddie Award for Best New Production and was nominated for Best Director. Rettmer has also worked extensively on new opera with such companies as New York City Opera, Ecce Ensemble, Guerrilla Opera, and Rhymes with Opera. They are currently on the Artistic Advisory Board of On-Site Opera. Most recently, they directed a feature film version of the opera La Boheme which was a co-production between Opera Omaha, More than Musical, and Tri-Cities Opera, which is housed on Boston Lyric Opera's digital media site, operabox.tv.
Recent awards include two National Endowment for the Arts Grants and multiple MAP Fund grants for the collaborative opera, Standby Snow: Chronicles of a Heat Wave, and the upcoming multimedia opera, Ellis, constructed from first-person accounts of immigration to the US. They have also been awarded an Art Alliance Fellowship from HFBK Hamburg, a research fellowship from the Center for Arts Design and Social Research, and residences at Skaftfell Center for Visual Arts in Iceland, Robert Wilson's Watermill Foundation on Long Island, and MassArt’s Brant Gallery.
In addition to teaching performance and digital media in the Sculpture Department at RISD, Rettmer has served as a residential scholar at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. They were a Post Graduate Fellow at Tufts University in Video and Digital Media. They hold a BFA in stage direction from New York University and an MFA in digital media from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts.