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Tag Archives: hector canonge

We (Esther Neff and Brian McCorkle) are recently returned to US soil after a harrowing durational airport performance in which we waited in line for 3 days and complained with the other people also waiting. This performance happened in addition to more specifically framed-as-art and scheduled performances in Berlin, Copenhagen, and Dortmund.

First, Teena Lange had us at Grüntaler9‎ for 4 days as part of her durational series “The Image or the Act?”  as part of MPA-B. Esther, Brian, Valerie Kuehne, and Ivy Castellanos performed 9am-9pm, operating a diner called You’re a Big Boy Now *OR* Rauschenberg Ist Tödlich, during which participants could order food (including cast chocolate body parts made by Ivy, burgers, eggs over easy, and various specials of the day), and actions/interactions involving psychoanalysis, plaster heads containing ketchup, more ketchup and mustard, food coloring, paper plates, and instruments of torture and noise including cello, meat grinders, electronic sound, keyboard, and piano horn. Video to come…

Ivy Castellanos, Hector Canonge, and Guru Rugu (Adam Overton) performed solos on three of the evenings as curated by PPL:

We also performed at the MPA-B Open, Loophole, and had some meetings about BIPAF…PPL then took a ferry ride across the Baltic Sea to be a part of Hitparaden at the Pumpehuset, where we met some fascinating folks and threw kroner into the river.  HERE IS A VIDEO OF THAT PEFORMANCE: https://vimeo.com/67509267.

Back in Berlin, we participated in (CON)TEMPORARY SPACE-TIME  at AquaBit, performing solos…

We also talked to Verb Frau (a.k.a Margaret Dragu) on camera: https://vimeo.com/66716181…Then we took the bus to Dortmund to perform at the Shauspeilhaus as part of SMALL BEAST:

Then we went back to Berlin for more (CON)TEMPORARY SPACE-TIME at Leibig12:

THANK YOU TO ALL WHO PARTICIPATED IN AND ATTENDED THIS CONFERENCE!!!! IT HAS NOW CONCLUDED BUT WE WILL DO IT AGAIN SOON!

In the meantime, join the PERFORMANCY FORUM Facebook group HERE.

 


Beatriz Albuquerque performance this past Friday night at Grace Exhibition Space (with Sharon Shih)

 

The non-autonomy will continue this weekend!!!

Thank you/chokrane/merci/gracias/xièxie/danke/asante/arigato/etc to all who participated during the first weekend of Conference of Works: Operations and Participations, whether by standing around drinking beer or by sharing performance work as part of the “occupation” of Grace Exhibition Space!   Documentation is to come! Here’s some Dimanche Rouge (which was streamed into GES Saturday)  in the meantime…

Below is an updated schedule for this weekend…hope to see EVERYONE THERE, participating in the roundtables (yes, yes, please come) and experiencing the performances/talks/workshops etc.

Conference of Works: Operations and Participations

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 11: VAUDEVILLE PARK
7:00pm:
Welcome! drinks, introductions
.

7:30: Ann Hirsch on her notorious hipster “cewebrity”! Visit Youtube.com/user/scandalishious and scandalishious.com if you’re curious before her talk!

8:00: G Douglas Barrett Ground Music, which will invite audience members to “take to the ground”—as a spatial and metaphorical site for political, philosophical, and sonic reflection.

8:30: Anya Liftig we do not know what Anya will do EXACTLY, but whatever she does, whenever she does it, it is always astounding.

9:00: Alex Young has a notion, and nothing that he does  really falls into ‘music composition, performance art, or internet’ work, though it does tend to address ‘artistic authorship while experimenting with modes of participation and intervention’.

10:00: Jules Rochielle is an artist and the founder of the Social Practices Arts Network (SPAN). Her visit to NYC from LA catalyzed–in part–this conference and the meeting of many like-minded people.

10:30: Gretta Louw:Controlling Connectivity Gretta has been living in a Berlin gallery space in complete isolation except for the internet since November 2nd. We will visit her online via skype and see how she’s handling it…

Five individual artists working in music composition, performance art, and interactive/internet forms describe, perform, and present projects that maintain artistic authorship and vision while experimenting with modes of participation, demonstration, and intervention. Come ready to partake in the bar, bring an instrument, bring a dry erase marker, bring a powerpoint presentation, bring an anecdote or joke, bring mittens, and a donation for Vaudeville Park. (address below)

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SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 12: GRACE EXHIBITION SPACE
Opens at 3:30

ONGOING: SPAN site/listening station
listen to an archive of interviews with artists with social arts practices!

ONGOING: Urban Layers INTERACTIVE INSTALLATION
Interactively charting who, what, and where, on the wall of the space itself!

3:00pm and ONGOING: Mari Novotny-Jones in a 9-Hour Performance of INFECTION, COAGULATION, SEDIMENTATION, FILTRATION, DISINFECTION.

4:00pm: Open Discussion: documenting, proposing, and theorizing social practiced, engaged processes, and performance art. COME AND TALK ABOUT WHAT YOU DO and HOW YOU TALK ABOUT IT and WHY YOU TALK ABOUT IT LIKE THAT.

5:00: Gelsey Bell performs First Aid Kit, a participatory and indeterminate composition using that little red or blue box with the cross on it, and what’s inside it.

6:00: Christina de Roos and Thomas Bell (Spread Art) Bushwick duo, individual artists, gallerists, curators, and more  show their current work-in-progress and discuss their practice.

7:30: Aliza Simons leads a workshop/performance/happening with some little boxes, also known as radios, which allow sounds to be broadcast in at least a one-block radius.

8:00: Nate Hill presents Race Warriors: “Answer ten easy questions to uncover your racial prejudices, and play your own personalized race war video game,” a project of Racist Incorporated.  play online game here.

8:30: Angela Washko will explain how her practice evolved from a very traditional studio painting practice to a massively interdisciplinary practice with a distinct focus in community organizing, and her participation in collectives and combines.

9:00: Anna Jane McIntyre all last weekend we had story cards for people to fill out (and boy are there a lot of them! Some quite crude), now Anna will perform them over skype from her studio in Montreal, Canada.  

10:00pm: Hector Canonge Three words: perform/play/game. Hector is a master of participatory performance art, cultural organization, and more.

11:00: Dave Ruder’sWhy Lie? in this incarnation, 100 scores, from the graphic to the classically notated, each has its own internal logic and can stand up to a variety of different interpretations by trained musicians or by…you (whether or not you are, in fact, a trained musician)

Artist-curators, theorist-artists, and inter-disciplinary performers who wear “many hats” and come from many different performance backgrounds come together to share their work. Live participatory performances, talks, open bar, hands-on radio broadcasting from the space, and more!

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SUNDAY NOVEMBER 13: VAUDEVILLE PARK
4:00pm:
Open Discussion: Politics of Aesthetics meet Practice
! You are invited, you are invited, you are invited!

5:00: Carrie Dashow will discuss her practice and how it’s been performing/operating as Yesiree, the notary, at Zucotti park and throughout Occupy Wall Street.

5:30: Valerie Kuehne, Dream Zoo, an improvisational music ensemble will perform! Valerie may also be queried about her curation, community-building, and more.

6:00: Alison Fleminger from the Performance Project @ University Settlement on her residency program for artists working in and with communities, on arts in education, on devising theatre and dance, and on after-school programs and her Play Tank ensemble.

6:30: Douglas Paulson discusses Parfyme, Action Club and his many other projects  in relation to ideas of participation, performance, collaboration, the role of the “audience”, etc.

7:00:Urban Layers is an experimental collaborative platform for urban writing, mapping and media. Its goal is to foster creative combinations of old and new media techniques for describing and understanding cities including tours, essays, photography, maps and video. See this work in action during the conference, hear the artists discuss past, present, and future Urban Layering!

How do artists work in a public sphere? How do artists become political agents, and how can  creative work, cultural organization, and social sculpture operate socio-politically? What does ‘responsibility of form’ mean to us now? What are the political concerns of “avant-garde” theories and forms? Diverse artistic practices, from notarization of public statements during Occupy Wall Street through co-creative urban mapping, through conceptualized musical improvisation are juxtaposed, discussed, experienced, and documented.

**********

http://www.panoplylab.org/conference.html

Vaudeville Park
26 Bushwick Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11211

(Graham stop on the L train – Walk two blocks East on Graham Avenue and turn right onto Bushwick Ave.)

Grace Exhibition Space
840 Broadway
2ND Fl.
Brooklyn, NY 11206

(Flushing Avenue Stop on J-Z Trains – Walk 3 blocks East on Broadway)

For more information, e-mail  Esther Neff at panoplylab@gmail.com

The schedule is online!

CONFERENCE OF WORKS:
OPERATIONS AND PARTICIPATIONS

NOVEMBER 4, 5, 11, 12, 13, 2011
Open to the public ALL DAYS.
suggested donation sliding scale $5-$15

Organized/curated by the Panoply Performance Laboratory with:
Social Practices Arts Network (SPAN), Dimanche Rouge, Vaudeville Park, and Grace Exhibition Space

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 4TH: GRACE SPACE OCCUPIED!
Ongoing: Urban Layers INTERACTIVE INSTALLATION
7:00pm: Beatriz Albuquerque
7:30: Felix Morelo
8:00: Anna Jane McIntyre
8:30: Maria Hupfield
9:00: Stephen Bracco
9:30: Dara Malina
10:00pm: SK Orchestra

While Grace Exhibition Space curator-owners Jill McDermid and Erik Hokenson are occupying in downtown Manhattan, PPL curates from the streets, from craigslist, from arts social networks, and by word-of-mouth, making a concerted effort to shatter the autonomy of established, medium-specific performance communities. Artists will be provided with lights, sound, running water, a formalized public platform, and the context of “performance art” by one of the world’s best-known dedicated performance art spaces. After the show, artists and attendees go down to Zucotti Park to experiment with what kind of spectrum exists between “art” performance and “political” performance, between street theater, action, demonstration, intervention, performance art, and other forms, and to continue exploration of how performance artists participate in public culture.
**********

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 5: GRACE EXHIBITION SPACE
Opens at 3:30.
ONGOING:
Social Practices Arts Network (SPAN) site: practice documentation
ONGOING: Fill out storycards for Anna Jane McIntyre
ONGOING: Urban Layers INTERACTIVE INSTALLATION

4:00-7:00pm: Dimanche Rouge Special Edition, Skype Exhibition and Simultaneous Performance: Alexandre Pombo-Mendes, Carmen R. Cruz with Florent Maton and dancer Karl Paquemar, Daniel Gaudard, Manuela Centrone, ETC (Julien Arnaud + Anthony Carcone + Emmanuel Rébus), Savio Debernardis, Vlasta Delimar.
Streamed live from Batofar, 7 port de la gare, 13e, Paris, FR. Exhibition link HERE skype

7:30: Discussion with Jules Rochielle, SPAN organizer, skype
8:00: Lindsey Drury, Love Letter to A Dance Artist you Don’t Know (nor Care to Know)

The private is political, the local is global. Via skype, PPL and Dimanche Rouge join forces to present a simultaneous performance, as well as video, dance, and multi-media work streamed live across the Atlantic from Paris, France to Brooklyn NY, and vice versa. Participants, audiences, and attendees are also invited to fill out hand-drawn storycards for Canadian artist Anna Jane McIntyre, to be performed live via skype one week later, to co-create with Urban Layers, to engage with global practice-documentation project SPAN (Social Practices Arts Network) and create dance work to be performed and filmed by the choreographer/performer.
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Anna Jane McIntyre's Fill It In Yourself story cards

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 11: VAUDEVILLE PARK
7:00pm:
Welcome! drinks, introductions
7:30: Ann Hirsch
8:00: G Douglas Barrett
8:30: Anya Liftig
10:30: Gretta Louw’s Controlling Connectivity skype

Five individual artists working in music composition, performance art, and interactive/internet forms describe, perform, and present projects that maintain artistic authorship and vision while experimenting with modes of participation, demonstration, and intervention. Come ready to partake in the bar, bring an instrument, bring a dry erase marker, bring a powerpoint presentation, bring an anecdote or joke, bring mittens.

***********

Angela Washko (depicted) on Being in Residence

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 12: GRACE EXHIBITION SPACE
Opens at 3:30
ONGOING: SPAN site/listening station
ONGOING:
Urban Layers
INTERACTIVE INSTALLATION
3:00pm and ONGOING: Mari Novotny-Jones in 9-Hour Performance of INFECTION, COAGULATION, SEDIMENTATION, FILTRATION, DISINFECTION.
4:00pm: Open Discussion: documenting, proposing, and theorizing social practiced, engaged processes, and performance art.

Nate Hill's personalized video game. Launched 2011

5:00: Gelsey Bell
6:00: Christina de Roos and Thomas Bell (Spread Art)
7:30: Aliza Simons (radio transmission)
8:00: Nate Hill  (play online game here)
8:30: Angela Washko
9:00: Anna Jane McIntyre
skype performance of Fill It In Yourself story cards

10:00pm: Hector Canonge
11:00: Dave Ruder’s Why Lie?

Artist-curators, theorist-artists, and inter-disciplinary performers who wear “many hats” and come from many different performance backgrounds come together to share their work. Live participatory performances, talks, open bar, hands-on radio broadcasting from the space, and more!

********

SUNDAY NOVEMBER 13: VAUDEVILLE PARK
4:00pm:
Open Discussion: Politics of Aesthetics meet Practice
5:00: Carrie Dashow
5:30: Valerie Kuehne, Dream Zoo
6:00: Alison Fleminger from the Performance Project @ University Settlement
6:30: Douglas Paulson
7:00: Urban Layers Presentation
Closing and Afterparty (9pm: Organizations and artists planning meeting)

How do artists work in a public sphere? How do artists become political agents, and how can create work, cultural organization, and social sculpture operate in socio-politically? What does ‘responsibility of form’ mean to us now? What are the political concerns of “avant-garde” theories and forms? Diverse artistic practices, from notarization of public statements during Occupy Wallstreet through co-creative urban mapping, through conceptualized musical improvisation are juxtaposed, discussed, experienced, and documented.

**********

These November weekends will bring together performances, workshops, and discussions that deal with the operations (social, political, aesthetic, economic, etc) of participatory, interactive, aleatoric, and other “open source” forms in the practices of artists, curators, and cultural organizers.

http://www.panoplylab.org/conference.html

Vaudeville Park
26 Bushwick Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11211

(Graham stop on the L train – Walk two blocks East on Graham Avenue and turn right onto Bushwick Ave.)

Grace Exhibition Space
840 Broadway
2ND Fl.
Brooklyn, NY 11206

(Flushing Avenue Stop on J-Z Trains – Walk 3 blocks East on Broadway)

For more information, e-mail  Esther Neff at panoplylab@gmail.com

After the Conference of Works at University of the Streets this past weekend I feel the need to write some kind of “assessment,” so here it is.  During the Conference, Ben Spatz (Urban Research Theater) used this term, “assessment” in his discussion of technique and transmission/education, as did Dave Thrasher in his discussion of his situational, interactive project, and I think it’s a very interesting word/concept in terms of live performance. Yes, much has been made of performance’s “liveness,” its transient, temporary state and the impossibility of concrete or “scientific” assessment.  Having dissipated several days ago now, how can this Conference of Works, which included around 60 participants (most of us played multiple roles of participant/audience/performer/presenter) over the course of the two days and amassed a multiplicity of concepts and concerns, be assessed? How can its effect be charted or analyzed?

Many artists over the course of the weekend (especially those who hope for socio-political operation in some way) said that they can’t assess how their work is operating, how it’s taken by an audience, assess whether or not it’s been “effective,” and if their choices in terms of Mode, Method, and Medium have been the “right” ones.  Carrie Dashow expressed a desire for documentation and review after a participatory process, notarizing material forms as Yesiree The Notary for the Conference attendees that swore to their self-assigned artistic identities.  Towards additional permanence, Amapola Prada makes haunting videos of her staged actions, which allow the works to travel internationally and last beyond the sunny Lima days on which they are shot. Other artists participating in the Conference expressed a rejection of assessing their work and practices at all, choosing to “feel through” audiences and their reactions in order to determine if and how performance modes are effective. Chance and Melanie of The Nerve Tank said they sometimes measure the success of their work by “walk outs,” knowing that it’s literally affective when individuals can’t handle it in some way. The project Nate Hill shared often produces active responses of offense, as his website selling milk gargled by “pretty white girls” rubs salt into more than one exposed cultural wound.

But do reactions to our work control our practical experiments in the “scientific” sense, or assist any direct cause-and-effect assessment? “Science,” they say, relies on an index, something left behind where there was once the thing, while offense, or amusement, or trains of thought, quickly dissolve into life itself and can’t be indexed at all, other than by the individual to which they belong.   How can we follow through on the research aspects of our practices and put performance research towards the development of our modes and methods?  During the course of the Conference, we experienced Martín Lanz Landázuri, William Bilwa Costa, and dancers researching resonance, embodying the concept and examining  how resonance can be used in performance and performed as such.  We also experienced part 2 of Handan Ozbilgin’s 3-part Maids project,  which jumps off from the “research” text of Jean Genet’s Maids, Hyatt Michael’s  Syb’L Vane piece, drawn from The Picture of Dorian Gray, and  Hector Canonge‘s Immigrant 101, a performance-context lecture on immigration, incorporating found research images and statistics. The idea of “scientific” exploration, research, and “problems” (especially in Lindsey Drury’s intense, improvisational and site-specific dance work and Angela Washko‘s performance in which she attempted to disrupt two men building cardboard boxes), and the place where these intersect with participation and collaboration kept coming up, at times fusing into related concerns, and other times breaking apart into concrete statements about reasons for working in a certain way.

Several artists expressed during the conference that they consider the analysis and assessment of our work, and the choices we make during the process of creating work, a completely subjective task, which can’t be performed in a scientific or even articulable manner, as no unified or communicable, objective analysis or set of decision-making criteria can be constructed.  On this note but in a different key, J.J. Lind of Immediate Medium spoke during the Sunday round-table about how his collaborators, coming from varying mediums, backgrounds, and fields, working immediately and in the moment together, can build a stronger aesthetic and conduct powerful experiments. This idea perhaps suggests that collaboration is inherently a form of constant analysis that negates the need for formal assessment. Collaboration across disciplines seems to provide an anodyne in this way to the “problem” of subjective analysis, as multiple artists can walk away from a collaborative with something subjective learned or explored, or they can create a kind of “meme-plexic” index, that pools subjective responses outside of the individual selves involved. Jason Andrew, founder of NORTE MAAR for Collaborative Projects in the Arts has found that co-creation between artists from different disciplines produces new modes of expression and experiment, as have experimental music ensemble thingNY’s Paul Pinto and Gelsey Bell. With collaborative and participatory processes in mind, I believe that the inherent “subjectivity” of an analytic process does not make such a process of assessment or analysis less useful; “subjective” sometimes becomes a buzz-word that means we don’t have to talk about it in public, but perhaps it means that when something is seen as subjective, we simply must perceive it in a different way, through the convergence  of a wide range of subjective perspectives.  Perhaps we need to collaborate on experimenting with analysis itself.  In my mind, this was the task of the Conference, to get a multiplicity of subjectivities out of a private sphere and into an analytic public one.  In the organization of the conference, the attempt to combine a number of subjective perspectives and analyses wasn’t about getting closer to “objectivity” by finding the similarities/common denominators between subjective perceptions, rather it was about gathering and being able to see more than one perception at a time, gathering perceptions outside one’s own, and considering them as a range of assessments.  Perhaps one could also say that this goal (of seeing more than one subjective perspective) is one of the primary operations of performance arts, performance research, and the subsequent experimentation that these modes catalyze.

I can only say for certain that the experience overall with this conference, for me, was consuming, overwhelming, at times confusing, and powerfully moving, and that the plethora of subjective goals, assessments, tasks, and conclusions took me closer to knowing how to research, through my own practice, the multi-dimensional reality that we all experience from such difference angles. I am incredibly grateful to all who participated, for their generosity, articulation, expression, communication, recognition, organization.  Thank you to those I mentioned here, and to the many others who came, participated, performed, perceived, and practiced (esp. Paul Pierog, who was the only person other than Brian and I who attended the entire conference, both days, first to last).  I hope we do it all again soon!

SOLO RESULTS OF COLLABORATIONS AND INFLUENCE
Arts in Bushwick’s SITE Fest hits Surreal Estate, 15 Thames
on the 1st anniversary of the PERFORMANCY FORUM!!!

Saturday, March 5, 7pm-1am
Sunday, March 6, open SITE, 2pm-6pm


Work by:

Alejandro Acierto (installation with performance on Saturday night)
Gelsey Bell (performing from her solo song cycle “Bathroom Songs”)
Hector Canongee (performs ‘Ocular-Trance-Ocular’ with Maria Fernanda Hubeaut)
Ivy Castellanos (installation with performance on Saturday night)
Brian McCorkle (music/performance)
Esther Neff (YOU)
Paul Pinto (experimental music)
Brian Rady (theater/performance)
Matthew Stephen Smith (theater, excerpt from an upcoming one-man show)
Meghann Snow (performance art)

This past year has been incredibly stimulating for PPL and for Surreal Estate artists, thanks in large part to the influx of new collaborators and the work of artists participating in the PERFORMANCY FORUMS. Hector Canonge performed at the very first PF, opening the door on a whole host of exhibitions, conversations, and collaborations with other powerful artists; as a curator, organizer, and friend, Hector empowers everyone with whom he comes into contact.

Additionally, at least half of the artists in this exhibition collaborate with one another as experimental music ensemble thingNY, with whom PPL is currently collaborating on this piece for May, 2011. Click HERE to watch thingNY performing one of the pieces of SPAM 2.0, the awesome show they just did at LPAC.

Others in this exhibition are collaborators as old as the hills (9 years!) and some are newer collaborators and influences, as the old rhyme goes, precious metals and whatnot….heck, there is nothing like gratitude for people you respect to cut through the depressing weather of March!

In a sparkling new mall in Jamaica, Queens, there is a gallery, Crossing Art, that is very worth attending, with pieces by Cui Fei, Li Shan, and other notable artists (primarily Chinese and Chinese-Americans) and perfect air conditioning.

McCorkle and I went out to Crossing Art to participate in A-Lab Forum called “Queering the Bodies,” for which the blurb ran:

“QUEERING THE BODIES revolves around issues and concerns about the body as a tableaux, interface, canvas, and/or agent for artistic creation. Participating artists explore notions of identity, gender construction, and social representation in relation to the physical or virtual representation of the body image. This month’s forum presents artists who use the body as canvas, as user interface (UI) or as a metaphor for the exploration of territory(ies) within their work(s) and general practice in contemporary art. ”

It turned out that a discussion of bodies can’t help but encompass the whole of “performance art” as such. The other artists on the panel were:

Matthew de Leon
Christen Clifford
Alison Ward
Genevieve White

Genevieve White we knew from the PERFORMANCY FORUM where she showed a video in May of her project “33 Balloons“. She went to school (The New School) with Matthew de Leon, and Meghann Snow (who will be performing as part of the July 2 PERFORMANCY FORUM). These three artists are perhaps a good indication of where performance art, as part of the visual arts industry, lives in the hands of artists born in the mid ’80’s (like myself and McCorkle). Durational, pre-invested with symbolic or representational meaning, body-conscious, and often slightly comedic, either via repetition or overt theatricality, the work has a “contained” feeling, which perhaps stems from the art industry’s constant battle to make performance art a consumable product in the same way that a painting or sculpture can be, or perhaps as a continuation of performance art’s birth from action/conceptual work. As a slightly older artist, Alison Ward’s work contains elements of this also, for example her video piece during which she devours 30 cupcakes as they appear, at first delighted and eventually hiccuping (in a squeaky electronically modified voice) with helplessness and despair: repetition, action-as-symbol, self-abuse. However, Ward, dressed in a pink costume, bridges this kind of durational performance with narrative/theatrical performance art, which lives on the line between visual art performance and theater. In particular, Ward’s work exists in a universe of characters and environmental unity (as does de Leon’s) that is also very much a part of contemporary performance art (witness Ryan Trecartin, Tamy Ben-Tor, etc) and references a type of universe and characters that exist in one of the primary current aesthetics (western/rural, fairy tale/Sophia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette, and Murakami would be my top votes for most popular). The piece that Christen Clifford (who is a NYFA Fellow so I was familiar with her work) showed was a kind of homage to Carolee Shneemann’s 1975 Interior Scroll. Clifford said that she was interested in embodying Shneemann’s rage and relating it to postpartum depression and anger, not performing a parody of 1970’s Feminist art, but rather working to feel inside it. This is getting into a whole other post (which would be mostly about Marina Ambramovic at MoMA this year and re-behavior etc) but in relation to this general post about “where we are” (with which I am obsessed) I believe that Clifford’s piece demonstrates a definite re-evaluation of the role of performance art, especially in terms of EMOTION, in terms of the artist’s subjective/private emotional impetus, the desired emotional response from an audience/spectator (which Hector asked us about) and in terms of theatricality, and mode of expression. Clifford’s piece culminates in the smashing of child-related items, cribs, baby buggy, etc, with a metal pipe. This overt emotional action in contrast with White’s expressionless inflation and bursting of red balloons actually was not that great, I mean they did not seem that different; both actions spoke to the usefulness vs. destructive capabilities of emotion and likewise (consciously I think) to the emotional spectrum inherent to performance as a medium.

I guess this is where I found the subject of the forum most pertinent, the body vs. its content, and the body vs. its implications, indicators, and index. The “queer” body is one that has no normative, permanently adapted state, but one that shifts its identity and form to communicate, to express, to describe, although at a certain point a person (I) balk at so much deconstruction and bandying-about and re-definition of words, though it all delights me.

Well, we know why performance art is important, but here are my top three (out of 26) reasons why performance art is a crucial part of industrialized cultures (I won’t speak about non-industrialized cultures or “pre” and “post” as if time is linear) this is mostly for theater people, art people, you’ve heard all this already:

1.) Art History 101: It is not a commodified object, no matter how hard it is pushed in that direction. As a temporary, experience-based product it can be monetarily consumed only as documentation or ticket to the show, not possessed. This is a stone in the tooth of all-masticating capitalism, which keeps it Outside to a certain degree and perhaps allows a bit more “objectivity” to its commentary.

2.) The relationships between the subjective/private experience of the artist in performance and in creation/planning of it is contrasted to the shared/public experience of the performance as a product, which creates a contextual filter for all and any content that reminds us that we are separate selves, and that we are not separate selves. This paradox needs to be constantly recognized as it holds the access point to the reason for human consciousness (ability to make decisions for the future in consideration of both the self and the species).

3.) Despite its loose boundaries and “anything goes” manifestos, the medium “performance” has one of the tightest dialectics in the arts today and is perhaps the only artistic field that has really tied itself theoretically to and constantly examined itself in light of contemporary philosophy, political science, other social sciences scholarship, and more. Like theater, performance art is about people (in terms of depiction AND subject matter, if you can find a piece that isn’t, please let me know) and is therefore interested in minds, bodies, thoughts, feelings, words, imaginations, actions, etc, etc and often analyzes these in detail, unifying art and thought in a way that I feel is extremely culturally sustainable. As such, performance art remains in a state of constant experiment, testing what it means to be human and testing complex ideas about what it means to be human. Hypotheses are all very well and good, and so are images and emotional bursts, but performance can test hypotheses against emotion, to see if they feel true.

Is it true (psychogeographically) that art made in Queens tends to be from the Donald Judd school? Not “minimalist” per se (Judd of course hating this term) but rather influenced by constant construction-cone orange, 1960’s flat turquoise, stainless steel, and-eluviation-layer-soil terra cotta?

Not to mention now, the overwhelming aesthetic of the Citi behemoth? Perhaps it is the lack of compositional hierarchy that can be applied (as a huge generality) to art made in Queens now, an interest not only in breaking down hierarchical structures in terms of (aesthetically, theoretically) plane and color, but also socially, in terms of the economy of the art world, amongst artists, funders, curators, and spaces, established and emerging artists, and white, heterosexual, male artists vs. immigrants, women, queer artists, etc.

Hector Canonge is rapidly becoming a crucial part of a democratized, de-hierarchized arts community. Although an artist first (new media, performance, digital arts, and more) Hector also organizes/curates shows, doing the legwork to gather artists and their work together, and co-directing QMAD with architect Gonzalo Casals.


QMAD’s current exhibition opens tonight, June 16, at 6pm and closes July, 1, 2010. BABEL includes work by Gema Alava, Nobutaka Aozaki, Javier Arau, Aileen Bassis, Susan Breitsch, James Chen-Feng Kao, Felipe Galindo, Iliana Emilia Garcia, Janet Goldner, Jennifer Grimyser, Jia-Yi He, Linda Herrit, Paolo Javier, Jihay Kang, Larry Litt & Nicolas Lee, Carla Lobmier, Norma Markley, Derick Melander, Rahul Mitra, Veru Narula, Ann Oren & Zevan Rosser, Renzo Ortega, Panoply Performance Laboratory (Esther Neff, Brian McCorkle, Matthew Stephen Smith), Cristian Pietrapiana, Jenny Polak, Michael Pribich, Elisa Pritzker, Svetlana Rabey, Daniel Rossi, Joseph Gerard Sabatino, Nivedita Shivraj, Priscilla P. Stadler, Anna-Maria Vag, Deborah Wasserman, Andrew Wilkinson, Tammy Wofsey.

Directions: Space 37, 86-08 37th Avenue, Jackson Heights, NY 11372.
* Queens bound #7 Train. Exit at 82 Street and Roosevelt Avenue. Walk on 82 St. to 37 Ave. Turn right on 37 Ave. to 86 Street.

Click Here to link to the video that PPL is showing in this exhibition.

Thank you to Live Arts Collaboration and The Performance Project @ University Settlement for hosting us Monday night!

PPL got to break the ice with an audience on Monday night during a Salon evening where we performed the first 15 minutes of ‘The Last Dreams of Helene Weigel or How to Get Rid of The Feminism Once and For All’ alongside performances by ThingNY Artistic Director (and PPL Collaborator!) Paul Pinto and Latasha N. Nevada Diggs among others.

Afterwards, Matthew Lyons (the Kitchen) led us in a talkback session.

This salon, done in the beautiful wood-floored room at University Settlement on 184 Eldridge in the East Village, had a decidedly Modern, formal flavor, while the PERFORMANCY FORUM we held on Friday, May 7, was punctuated by Dr. Motorcycle, the black and white cat, pawing at moving images on the projector screen, and included a lot of informal conversation and laughter.
PPL is especially delighted to get to know the PERFORMANCY FORUM participants:

The SK Orchestra
John Mellilo
Gratuitous Art Films
Genevieve White
Audrey Blackburn
Tom Swirly
Orly Bendavid and Ari Swan

Hector Canonge
and films by Marguerite Chandler (one of which was banned at the Archive)

THANK YOU TO ALL FROM BOTH SALONS!