Saturday, January 15, 8pm, 2011
Surreal Estate Performance Space
15 Thames Street
Brooklyn, NY 11206
(take the L to Morgan, walk two blocks away from the Manhattan skyline to Thames St.)
The conceptual, durational, non-object-based sides of performance art come into collision and conflict with popular, folk, and spiritual sides in this evening of performances by artists influenced by and working with the aesthetics, structures, and intentions of performance art’s most culturally rooted aspects. A certain type of subversion exists in this work, especially in its relationship with performance art’s doppelgangers, burlesque and cabaret. Confronted with these refracted sides of performance art, these artists use subjective and aesthetic experience to create hybrid work.
Ivy Castellanos is a resident artist at Surreal Estate and works in video, performance, sound, sculpture, and more.
Joseph Keckler was born in Michigan, and grew up in one of several tiny towns that begin with the letter P and slowly orbit the relative metropolis of Kalamazoo (completing a full circle once in a human lifetime.) Joseph spent his early life inside his mind, before moving out of it as a teenager to wander the aisles, late-night, of the local 24hr Walmart, and lollygag in the basement dwellings of self-proclaimed warlocks, waiting in vain for them to levitate scraps of paper. He attended the University of Michigan, where he trained as a painter and an opera singer, graduating at the top of his class. He immediately moved to New York City to establish himself as a singer, performance artist, and avant-monologist. In the past year, his multi-media extravaganzas, plays, and concerts have been presented by The New Museum, Joe’s Pub, Envoy Enterprises, La MaMa ETC, The Players Club (in conjunction with a commission from Cinema 16 and in collaboration with violinist Dan Bartfield), Ars Nova, and The Transmodern Festival, among others. Joseph has been awarded a residency at Yaddo Artist Colony to develop new work and just recorded an E.P, Featured Creatures, which will also be released in Italy by Transeuropa. He is currently writing a book.
Anya Liftig is a nationally and internationally recognized performance artist. Her most recent work, “The Anxiety of Influence,” was an intervention into Marina Abramovic’s “The Artist is Present” retrospective at MOMA. Liftig dressed as the elder artist and sat across from her all day. Liftig’s work has been featured at TATE Modern, Highways Performance Space, Exit Art, Chashama, Surreal Estate, Eyedrum, Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, Galapagos, The Flea, Yale University, INCUBATEChicago, University of Wisconsin, University of Chicago, Mess Hall, Joyce Soho and many other venues. Her work has been published and written about in The New York Times Magazine, Bomb, The Wall Street Journal, Vogue Italia, Marie Claire Italia, Heeb, Mix Magazine, Next Magazine, Now and Then, Stay Thirsty, New York Magazine, Gothamist, Jezebel, Animal New York and many others. She is a graduate of Yale University and Georgia State University and has received grant and residency support from The Field, Vermont Studio Center, University of Antioquia, Casa Tres Patios-Medellin Colombia, and Flux Projects, Atlanta.
Kikuko Tanaka is a New York-based, frantic artist whose series of work “A Tragic Bambi” revolves around a recurring motif of her urination on a dismembered body of Bambi. Her work consists of various mediums: sculpture, installation, performance, photography, video and text, and unfolds her own symbolic system in which each work in the series interacts with others and offers multi-layered interpretations. She is especially interested in examining her own psychological nature, issues of art-making itself and being in ecstatic state, through repetitious labor and symbiotic experience with her audience participants. She has exhibited in various venues, including Smack Mellon, Momenta Art Artists Alliance Inc, Arario Gallery, Amelie A. Wallace gallery at SUNY Old Westbury, Curious Matter, Hudson Guild Gallery, Vox Populi, to list some of them. Her work has been reviewed in Art in America, Art Info and Hyperallergic.
Alison Ward’s performances, videos and sculptures create a world populated by a masked and costumed cast that re-interpret her own image in the form of popular, religious, and ritual cultural icons. Her characters struggle with each other and the audience through activities that combine violence and overt sexuality with slapstick physical humor. With the help of these characters, she creates scenarios that simultaneously exist in the realms of physical comedy and the unknown. Exhibitions include Haven Arts, The Dumbo Arts Center, and the Bronx Museum as well as the CCCB Museum in Spain, RAW Space Gallery in Australia and Castlefield Gallery in England, as well as spaces such as the Queens Museum here in the states. She has done residencies at Raw Space in Australia, The Artist in the Marketplace Program, and the LMCC studio program, The Waterpod Project in New York City, and LMCC’s Swing Space Program. She has received grants from the Brooklyn Arts Council and the Lewisham Arts council in London to perform her work. She is currently a resident artist at Flux Factory in Long Island City, Queens.
Sanda Weigl was born in Bucharest and was a child star on Romanian national television. Political persecution chased her family to East Berlin where her father was reunited with Helene Weigel, Bertolt Brecht’s widow and director of the Berliner Ensemble. While a teenager, Sanda joined the state-sponsored rock band Team 4, lead by future East German Deputy Minister of Culture Hartmut Koenig. Team 4’s song “Der Abend ist gekommen,” sung by Sanda, hit number one on the charts and epitomized the swinging sixties, East Berlin style, with its driving pre-Krautrock sound. At the height of Team 4’s success, Sanda became embroiled in the political unrest of 1968. Labeled an enemy of the state, Sanda was expelled to West Germany, where she started her second career in the Schiller Theater in West Berlin. Her work in the theater included collaborations with Luc Bondy, Juergen Flimm, and Peter Zadek, among many others. Sanda married dramatist/actor Klaus Pohl and was assistant director on three of Robert Wilson’s pieces, Civil Wars, Hamlet Machine, and Parsifal. With the help and encouragement of Robert Wilson, Sanda and Klaus emmigrated to New York, where Sanda was reunited with her childhood friend, violinist Alexander Balanescu, leading to performances of Romanian Gypsy music with the Balanescu String Quartet in London and Hamburg. Sanda then met composer Anthony Coleman, who became producer and arranger for her first recording since Team 4. He also brought in many of New York’s greatest musicians, including Glen Velez and Marc Ribot, and introduced her to the players who would become the nucleus of her ensemble, Alex Fedoriouk, Curtis Hasselbring, Brad Jones, Ted Reichman, Roberto Rodriguez, and Doug Wieselman. Sanda has since become an icon of traditional Gypsy music, as well as a renowned avant-garde vocalist and jazz singer, most recently performing with Japanese percussionist Satoshi Takeishi and the Japanese Connection at Joe’s Pub and many other venues in New York, and all over the world.
Surreal Estate (space) is Brooklyn’s largest and most diverse live/work arts and activism collective.
The Panoply Performance Laboratory (curators) is a performance co-operative formed by director/librettist/designer Esther Neff and co-directed by composer/sound artist/musician Brian McCorkle. Following a mission to encourage mass participation in the distribution of the sensible, understand conceptual genealogies, socio-political structures, and performance itself, PPL creates music-driven, documentary-based performance works, primarily operas, with a diverse array of collaborators, from all disciplines, fields, and walks of life. Additionally, PPL is dedicated to sustainable practices such as the use of recycled and found materials in their production of portable, low-budget “educational” performance art for a diverse audience. PPL curates the PERFORMANCY FORUM in Bushwick, Brooklyn at Surreal Estate where they are currently in residence.