Extreme Depth of Feeling: Performance Documents for the Camera
January 15 – February 1st 10 am
33 S. State Street, 7th floor
This exhibition features select projects mining the synergies of performance and video. Artists include: John Baldessari, Lucy Cash, Angela Ellsworth, and Vlatka Horvat.
Videos courtesy of the artists and the Video Data Bank.
Kira O’Reilly is a UK based artist; her practice, both wilfully interdisciplinary and entirely undisciplined, stems from a visual art background; it employs performance, biotechnical practices and writing with which to consider speculative reconfigurations around The Body. Since graduating from the University of Wales Institute Cardiff in 1998 her work has been exhibited widely throughout the UK, Europe, Australia, China and Mexico. She has presented at conferences and symposia on both live art and science, art and technology interfaces. She has been a visiting lecturer in the UK and Australia and U.S.A in visual art, drama and dance. Most recent new works have seen her practice develop across several contexts from art, science and technology to performance, live art and movement work. She is currently an AHRC funded creative fellows at Department of Drama, Queen Mary University of London.
In 2007 I begun to make ‘dances’, with my then 40 year old non-dance trained body, finding places to swoon and totter, reflections and flexions, resulting in a new movement based work Untitled (Syncope) commissioned by SPILL Festival of performance to be performed in the cavernous underground, Victorian spaces that were Shunt Vaults beneath London Bridge Stations bustle and clamour.
Angela Ellsworth (Phoenix, Arizona) is a multidisciplinary artist traversing disciplines of drawing, installation, and performance. She is interested in art merging with everyday life and public and private experiences colliding in unexpected spaces. Her solo and collaborative work has taken in wide-ranging subjects such as illness, physical fitness, endurance, social ritual, and religious tradition. Her work has been reviewed in ArtUS, Art News, Frieze Art, and Artforum. She has presented work nationally and internationally including The Getty Center, Museum of Contemporary Art Sydney, National Review of Live Art, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, and Phoenix Art Museum. She is an Associate Professor in the School of Art at Arizona State University and is represented by Lisa Sette Gallery in Scottsdale and Fehily Contemporary in Melbourne.
Screening: Stand Back, 11:22 minutes, 2011
(Camera and editing: Julie Ganas; Costume: dress purchased from Yearning for Zion Ranch with chiffon accents and bonnet by Jacqueline Benard), Courtesy of the artist, Lisa Sette Gallery, Scottsdale, Fehily Contemporary, Melbourne. Stand Back focuses on Ellsworth’s family history embedded in early Mormon polygamy and her sister-wife alter-ego – a female figure with a dress evoking women in some Fundamentalist Mormon communities as well as the American singer-songwriter Stevie Nicks. The video re-imagines the social and emotional dynamic among women within the close-knit polygamist communities, placing the sister-wife at the center of her experience with the power to have her own visions and revelations.
Image: Untitled 1 (Still from performance “Stand Back”)
archival pigment print, 2011, 29.75″ x 51.75”
Courtesy of the artist, Lisa Sette Gallery, Scottsdale, Fehily Contemporary, Melbourne
Lucy is an artist and filmmaker, based in the UK. Her background in performance making and choreography informs her approach to the work she now makes in different media, and she continues to explore innovative forms of collaboration – working with people from a range of communities and fields of expertise. She is drawn to beginning with the extraordinary appearance of ordinary things – things that are already in the world, and that invite small interventions between the poetic and scientific, philosophical and humorous, intimate and political. Her moving image work has been shown on television, (Ch4, Filmfour, BBC4 and BBC2) and internationally at both film festivals and in galleries. Her recent work includes a walking choreography for sixty-five South London residents, (and one dog), as well as an artist’s residency for Whitechapel Gallery’s education projects. Since 2007 Lucy has been an associate artist with Artsadmin and alongside Becky Edmunds she has formed straybird – a platform for co-directed moving image works and curatorial projects. www.lucycash.com, www.straybird.org
Requiem For The Redhead?
HD and DV Video, 3mins,
The colour red has many powerful associations – from danger and anger… to passion and joy. Requiem For The Redhead? invited a hundred redheads of all different shades and ages to perform for the camera. The film playfully considers the facts and fictions of red hair and the recessive gene that causes it. A Channel 4 / Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation / Wellcome Trust commission to mark the 150th anniversary of the publication of Charles Darwin’s ‘On the Origin of Species’.
Vlatka Horvat makes works in sculpture, installation, drawing, performance, and photography. Recent solo exhibitions include Boston University Art Gallery, Rachel Uffner Gallery (New York), Zak|Branicka Gallery (Berlin), Bergen Kunsthall, annex14 (Bern) and the Kitchen (New York). Recent commissioned projects include the 53rd October Salon (Belgrade), Stroom den Hague, artissima 18 (Torino), “Greater New York” at MoMA PS1 (New York), Aichi Triennale (Nagoya, a collaboration with Tim Etchells), Galerija Skuc (Ljubljana) and the 11th Istanbul Biennale. Vlatka’s performance works have been presented internationally at festivals and public sites. She is a 2010 recipient of the Rema Hort Mann Foundation visual art award. She lives in London and New York.
This Here and That There (Berlin), 2009
8-min video loop
This Here and That There (Berlin) is a video loop comprising a sequence of still images shot during an 8-hour performance at Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin, first performed in 2007. Staged in a pool of water, the images depict the artist continuously moving and rearranging 50 simple chairs, constructing a vast range of structures and arrangements. Some of these temporary arrangements are situational, evoking a range of social events and scenarios related to human interaction, implying that some form of dialogue, encounter, communication, presentation or confrontation might take place there. Other chair structures appear more abstract, or formal, exploring the possibilities and limits of spatial and formal relations between the 50 objects themselves, between the objects and the physical space they occupy, and between the objects and the performer.
Shot in a single continuous take, Restless features the artist moving around an empty auditorium, continually changing seats. She climbs over rows and chairs, moving from the centre to the periphery, from the front to the back to the middle, as if searching for a seat that is more comfortable, that offers a better view, or that is in some other way “more right.”
At the heart of this rule-based video is a single task whose precise purpose remains deliberately undealt with. Exploring the relation between a human figure and space, the piece enacts a journey through both the physical space of an empty auditorium as well as the space of the frame of the image. The artist’s apparent search for a particular vantage point, or for a position that somehow ‘works’ points to a thread in Horvat’s work concerned with establishing presence, marking and figuring out one’s place, all while negotiating live this moment – here and now – live in front of the camera.
Image Credit for Valatka Horvat: Vlatka Horvat: “Beside Itself”. Exhibition detail. Zak | Branicka, Berlin. 2011.
Born 1931 – USA
Throughout his career, John Baldessari has defied formalist categories by working in a variety of media—creating films, videotapes, prints, photographs, texts, drawings, and multiple combinations of these. In his use of media imagery, Baldessari is a pioneer “image appropriator,” and as such has had a profound impact on post-modern art production. Baldessari initially studied to be an art critic at the University of California, Berkeley during the mid 1950s, but growing dissatisfied with his studies, he turned to painting. Inspired by Dada and Surrealist literary and visual ideas, he began incorporating photographs, notes, texts, and fragments of conversation into his paintings. Baldessari remains fundamentally interested in de-mystifying artistic processes, and uses video to record his performances, which function as “deconstruction experiments.” These illustrative exercises target prevailing assumptions about art and artists, focusing on the perception, language, and interpretation of artistic images. These demonstrations provide an introduction to the major preoccupations of Baldessari’s work, and the linguistic and aesthetic philosophies that inform it.
Born in 1931, John Baldessari studied art, literature, and art history at San Diego State College and the University of California, Berkeley. Influenced by dadaist and surrealist literary and visual ideas, he began incorporating found materials (billboard posters, photographs, film stills, snippets of conversation) into his canvases, playing off of chance relationships among otherwise discreet elements. Baldessari explains: “Everybody knows a different world, and only part of it. We communicate only by chance, as nobody knows the whole, only where overlapping takes place.” Allowing pop-cultural artifacts to function as “information,” as opposed to “form,” Baldessari’s works represented a radical departure from, and often a direct critique of, the modernist sensibility that dominated painting for decades. In 1968, Baldessari met poet and critic David Antin, who helped launch Baldessari’s career, introducing him to a like-minded group of emerging conceptual artists including Lawrence Weiner, Joseph Kosuth, Dan Graham, and On Kawara—all of whom would have a great influence on the development of Baldessari’s work. Baldessari’s videotapes, like his phototext canvases, employ strategies of disjunction (Some Words I Mispronounce, 1971), recontextualization (Baldessari Sings Lewitt, 1972), and allegory (The Way We Do Art Now and Other Sacred Tales, 1973)—pointing to the gap between perception and cognition.
Image of Baldessari -copyright of the artist, courtesy of Video Data Bank, www.vdb.org