For the third consecutive year, under the auspices of their performance collective Buoy, New York-based Viva Soudan and Bailey Nolan brought together artists from across the country for a week-long residency in rural Connecticut, which culminated in an immersive performance in the forest.
Witchy narratives were central to this year’s performance titled I Am Your Itch which abstractly grappled with the anxieties of the current political moment as well as the historical traumas of womanhood.
Complicity was a theme. The performers role-played scenes of abuse directly asking the audience, “Why aren’t you doing anything?”
The residency’s participants applied in pairs, submitting a duo manifesto and a video of them moving together.
While there were choreographed sequences of the two-dozen-plus performers moving together in unison, the piece was founded in the relationships and movement vocabularies these duos developed.
A spirit of fierce resilience and manic frenzy pervaded the work, exemplified above by Jillian Goodwin’s gaze. During a talkback following the performance, Soudan explained a goal of the work was to “reactivate the energy to riot.”
Thursday June 14, Creative Time and the New York Public Library brought together poet and writer Eileen Myles, writer and Jezebel.com founder Anna Holmes, and artist and musician JD Samson for an evening themed around the idea of constructing a 21st-century feminism.
Following a conversation between Myles and Holmes that spanned the commodification of identity, literal boys clubs, and menopause, Samson performed with January Hunt and Laura Dune as well as members of the Lower Eastside Girls Club and Xhoir.
Here are some excerpts from Myles and Holmes’s dialogue:
EM: Is keeping a diary feminist? Growing up, part of what you were grappling with was not being silent. As a young female, I was constantly being invited to be silent.
AH: None of my peers would identify as “feminist.” This was ’92 or ’93. It was made toxic. Now there’s women with the T-shirts and it’s a whole marketing thing.
EM: It starts to be your career. You are always being reminded that you are female. You are always being asked to weigh in about being female. It constantly displaces you from the narrative you are trying to make.
AH: It’s the same for writers for color. I wanted to start a digital property that would only be populated by writers of color but they wouldn’t write about race at all.
EM: When I’m alone, am I a feminist? When I’m alone, am I a female?
AH: What did you want to be when you grew up?
EM: An astronaut. What about you?
AH: A dancer. I was very extroverted as a child but then at about 10 or 11, something happened that I think happens to a lot of people. I fell into myself.
EM: You are going through this transition and it’s unmarked, undiscussed, unritualized. You are being told to hide, just like menopause. My mid-40s started to get weird and operatic. I was so productive, I must have written three books. I was nuts. It’s psychedelic. A lot of women I knew started drinking and drugging again. Five women I knew killed themselves that decade.
AH: [on the political moment] Right now, norms are being broken, lines are being crossed, but there’s not an outcry. It’s not a lack of interest. It’s a feeling of impotence.
The live action avatar of performance artist Becca Kauffman is the host of the monthly variety series, Jennifer Vanilla: Live at the Bar in Ridgewood. Together, the powered-by-Jennifer production entertains JV enthusiasts, curious first-timers, and neighborhood regulars as an audience to its improvisational score.
Past “Live at the Bar” guests have included Nancy Feast, Sam Regal, Sam Lisabeth, Allison Brainard, Sitcom, and Angelina Dreem.The fourth installment takes place this Tuesday and features the talents of Alaina Stamatis, Annie Bielski, and Poncili Creación.
Jennifer Vanilla: Live at the Bar
Tuesday, June 6
552 Grandview Ave, Ridgewood, NY
“This past March, Reena Spauling presented Marie Karlberg’s “1 Hour of Limited Movement” at Market Art Fair in Stockholm, Sweden. For this performance, Karlberg stands isolated in a perspex box. The artist is clad in a black turtleneck and tights (a proper mix of casual dress and performance wear) and irreverently blows smoke toward an audience of art professionals as disembodied voices read texts over a loud speaker. Critiquing power structures within the art market, the texts (from unnamed gallerists) invite the artist to participate in various upcoming exhibitions but, always with budgetary or some other restriction. In several of the emails, gallerists remind the artist “what an opportunity” they are offering, even though there is no budget left to cover basic costs. Karlberg, states “I use performance to critic expectations of young artists’ marketability and the careers that consolidate out of that, in a personal way.”
Last Saturday, inside the marbled walls of a historic Art Deco bank in downtown Miami, local film and art collective Borscht organized an evening of performances, video screenings, and installations, as part of their tenth film festival running February 22 to 26.
Trina, da baddest bitch and a Miami icon, headlined the festivities with a raucous set performed on top of the bank’s vault.
Poetry Curtains by Baltimore-based artist sadpapsmear (above) glowed beneath the room’s vaulted ceilings. The Albert I. Dupont building offered a dramatic backdrop for the works, many of which were by female-identifying artists commissioned for the event and funded by a grant from La Croix.
Baltimore-based artists Marnie Ellen and sadpapsmear
Artists performing and presenting work included Adriana De La Torre, Antonia Wright, Jillian Mayer, Cristine Brache, Gabrielle Horruitiner, Marnie Ellen, King Coochie, Kelly Loudenberg, Rachel Johnson, Fereshteh Toosi, sadpapsmear, Betsy Holt, Hyperbody & Honda, POORgrrrl, Ambar Navarro, Natalia Lassalle-Morillo, Hope Harrelson, Marcelline Mandeng, Fereshteh Torsi, Ana Trevino, Desiree Moore, Alejandra Abad, Devyn Waitt, Marissa Goldman, Devin Harclerode, Keenon Brice, Erin Grant, Rindon Johnson, Adriana Cristal x Negashi Armada, Anna K.E., Miles Pflanz, Claire Côté, Lily Gottschalk, Lesley Nicole Braun, Dese Escobar, Sadaf H. Nava, Whitney Mallett, and FlucT x Minnie Bennett.
FlucT x Minnie Bennett, Sissy Joker La Pieta
Rachel Johnson, Escaped Exotics Field Guide
Miami-based Artists Rachel Johnson and Gabrielle Horruitiner
On February 5, India Salvor Menuez brought together artists and performers including Maria José, Sara Grace Powell, Rowan Oliver, Ser Serpas, Women’s History Museum, Ariel Zetina, Jahmal Golden, and Gia Garrison. Presented as part of MoMA Ps1’s Sunday Sessions series, their original works interrogated queerness, trans-feminine social dissonance, the othering of women, out identity, the symbolic connotations of garments, and collective consciousness.
Kate Steciw and Letha Wilson continue to reconsider photography as a medium via digital imagery with their coinciding solo exhibitions at Galerie Christophe Gaillard in Paris.
The works collectively respond to the incorporeality of digital life breaking from the repetitive linear photographic works which were very much in style during the early aughts.
In the front gallery, Steciw’s objects morph into satin spaghetti, coiled on the gallery floor. The works are digitally altered, alluding tools of photoshop. Stewics’s digital collages hint at the new role of imagery as a material of mass production plays. The industrialization of imagery and the software used to alter that imagery replaces classical sculptural material.
Featured in the gallery’s main space are the works of Letha Wilson. Surface Moves, continues the discussion of photographic relevance. In the center of the gallery two large spherical steel pipes rest on the rippling pleats of a twenty-gauge steel print of a landscape. Wilson expounds on the narrative qualities of these tactile works, with titles such as Rabbit Ears Pass Cement Fold (Double Angle I), 2016 and California Concrete Ripple Tondo, 2016. The man-made industrial materials used in Wilson’s work next to an image of a serene landscape create a natural disruptions for the viewer. These distortions are at once natural and combative as they reveal Wilson’s reconsideration not just of the presentation of photography but of the convergence of the natural and the technological as well.
Recently national fast food chain, Freshness Burger introduced an innovative solution to eating limitations prescribed by the cultural trend of “Ochobo” meaning small and modest mouth.
With the “Liberation Wrapper,” Japanese women can freely scarf down the company’s largest and messiest burger on the menu, the “Classic Burger” while maintaining a neat and poised composure.
Freshness Burger cleverly employed methods of illusion in their burger wrapper design, by placing the face of a closed mouth woman on the diamond shaped holder just big enough to cover the offending burger eater’s guzzling chomp. Freshness Burger included a commercial video in their promotion of the “Liberation Wrapper” citing that it was to “free women from the spell of ‘Ochobo’”. According to the company, sales of the “Classic Burger” have increased 213% since the introduction of this new campaign, however, it should be noted that while this may have been a lucrative move for Freshness Burger, it has done little in the way of true liberation.
In Galerie Emanuel Layr’s current exhibition, Fieber, Lena Henke, Lisa Holzer, and Margaret Raspé revel the creative process as a kind of sickness, something akin to an incurable fever! The exhibition, curated by Kari Rittenbach, works to recontextualize womanhood, domesticity, and creative production.
The exhibition features new sculptures from Henke’s Female Fatigue series. In My Piece of Cake and His Piece of Cake, sand, ceramic, and metal structures are tethered by classic pink rubber bands and accompanied by the corresponding molds. In these works, Henke pays homage to the innovation of Austrian architect Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky best known for her reinvention of the household kitchen, now commonly know as the Frankfurt Kitchen, whose streamlined design helped liberate the 1920s woman from the drudgery of housework.
Lisa Holzer’s photographs, enter the exhibition with a droopy, earth-toned, guttural smear. Puréed lentils and pure white sugar icing are reductive, sexy, and take center stage, like something between excrement and an abstract expressionist brush stroke executed with a spatula. These corporal photographs sweat beads of acrylic paint, their stillness challenging an appearance of exhalation.
Margaret Raspé’s super 8 films from the 1970s play throughout the gallery on a continuous loop. Raspé’s films were recorded point of view style by strapping the camera to a workman’s helmet, a technique that allowed Raspé to turn her everyday movements into performance. The impetus for this use of the camera spawned from a desire to expand on the political issues of the 1970s surrounding reproductive labor. The imagery in her films oscillates between scenes of domestic work and artistic production.
I know what you’re doing tonight. Not staying at home and watching “Stranger Things.” Dese and David Moses have back to school GLAM ready for you at China Chalet. Grab your Warby Parkers (with no prescription) and head downtown to see your friends, the stars of New York nightlife.
DJ DJ DESE