Aspect Ratio: Michal Samama

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Aspect Ratio Gallery
119 N Peoria, Unit 3D
January 29 – February 13

Performances on:
Jan 29, Friday – 6pm
Jan 30, Saturday – 2pm
Feb 5, Friday – 2pm
Feb 12, Friday – 6pm
Feb 13, Saturday – 2pm

Free and open to the public


Michal Samama creates body-based art , incorporating movement, everyday objects, sound, text and site-specific practices. Her work moves between the theater, the gallery and the public space, exploring the different dynamics by which these spaces are capable of ‘framing’ art.

She recently presented works at Theatre de la Ville in Paris, ASPECT RATIO Gallery in Chicago, Intima-Dance and Curtain Up Festivals in Tel Aviv and was commissioned by The Chocolate Factory Theater in New York.

In Chicago, her work has been presented at Julius Caesar Gallery, EXPO CHICAGO 2014, 6018 North Gallery, Rapid Pulse Festival 2014 and TBSO3 at Defibrillator Gallery, Out of Site 2015, Mana Contemporary, Links Hall, TRITRIANGLE and Northwestern University. In New York she presented her work at New York Live Arts, Movement Research at Judson Church, Performance Mix Festival, Dixon Place, Joyce SoHo, CPR, Chez Bushwick, Priska C. Juschka Gallery, AUNTS and the 92nd Street Y, where she also curated Sunday At Three in January 2012.

Samama is a graduate of the MFA performance program at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is the recipient of SAIC 2013-15 New Artist Society Scholarship Award, Edes Semi-Finalist Fellowship Award and the James Nelson Raymond fellowship.


In her new performance-exhibition at Aspect Ratio, Michal Samama will transform the gallery space into a gallery space.
Populating the gallery are generic,charmless objects, items of vulgar consumption: a plastic garden table, iron nails, a breast pump, plastic tags. ‘On-holding’ is a balancing act, a struggle to hold together in suspense an excess of elements and objects all pulling in different directions and asserting their partiality.
But like in a traversed rear view mirror, the objects here are perpetually closer then they appear, no matter how close we might get. Without losing their imposing, brute presence, their impact is suspended. Impossibly, we are granted access to over-proximity, making it into something (infinitely) approachable. Vulgarity, by definition a surface phenomena, sticking out and lacking any depth, is revealed here as something that can be mediated without it losing its essential effect.
From the gallery space in its totality, including backrooms and offices, to the smallest of nail-holes on the wall, the performer’s body and the objects in the gallery, although fully present, intimate contact with what is absent; giving body to the fulness of the hole, as it were, dwelling in “negative space”. Gravity behaves differently there, giving levity to what seems most somber and immobile, and bearing most heavily the more we approximate the weightless.

In our show, we will focus our performance on the everyday. The artist will perform everyday activities in the gallery for two separate one week performances. Performances will last for the entire time of the gallery’s opening hours.

“Head to Toe,” performance stills
images from performance at Aspect/Ratio, February, 2015
“Walling,” performance stills
images from performance at The Chocolate Factory, November, 2014

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