Tuesday, October 2, 2007
Here/Not There -- MCA
This series of multidisciplinary performances aims to answer the question: what remains after a performance occurs? Four artists present interpretations of how the visual and performative merge and coalesce.
Working in multiple media, the distinct practices presented in Here/Not There demonstrate four unique ways that performance and visual art can coexist and expand the notions of these often separate practices. After each performance, the remnant, trace, or experience generated by the performance remains within the gallery during the following week.
Emily Siefken, a navy veteran, performs Tomb of the Known, a work which honors and memorializes the lives and deaths of female military casualties of the Iraq War. For Tomb of the Known, Siefken walks the ritualized march of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery, Washington, D.C., while images of female military casualties are projected behind her. She performs in the gallery by cleaning her uniform and shining her boots, and after the sun sets at 8:30 pm, she performs the work at the main entrance of the MCA. For the rest of the week, she performs the work and on alternate days cleans and prepares her uniform.
Carol Genetti performs SEND HELP, a work that involves the human voice and eight cassette players, each with a four second tape loop sounding out a single letter of the phrase 'send help.' The performance combines the sound of her voice with the disembodied vocal fragments on the cassettes, which are time-aligned so that the phrase 'send help' can be understood. However, over the week, due to the subtle differences in the player speeds, the phonetic letter sounds become misaligned and no longer have textual meaning.
Jeremiah Barber performs Old Growth by sawing a log in the gallery and then rolling it out of the gallery, down the MCA stairs, and into the MCA Sculpture Garden where he will attempt to sit on the log. Afterwards, he will transport the log back into the gallery, where he will saw the log again, repeating the entire process until the log is completely dismantled. While sitting atop the log in the MCA Sculpture Garden, the artist can be viewed within the gallery from a video feed. Meant to be an open-ended aesthetic experience for the visitor, Barber's laborious yet meditative performance brings together the natural within an urban environment and the spiritual within a physical undertaking.
Rick Gribenas performs [C#m] Before it [A] was. on the ground floor of the MCA with speaker transducers attached to the gallery wall one floor above. These speakers, which transmit the sound from the performance, cause the wall covered in small led lights to vibrate in conjunction with the sonic output. This slight reverberation causes a corresponding alteration in the lights that project on the opposite wall.