Performance is alive Presents 4-days of programming during miami art week once again at satellite art show
Performance is Alive brings yet another ambitious, 4-day performance art program to Miami Beach for Satellite Art Show. This year's program features interactive performances, durational works, a panel discussion with slumber party, performance video screenings, lectures and because performance is never entirely predictable, the unknown! PIA artists are encountering the complexity of migration, oppressive patriarchal constructs, trans identity, mental health care, silencing, race relations and many other human rights issues threatened by the Trump administration. So join us for the only non-stop performance art uprising during Miami Art Basel! #AliveAtSatellite #notbasel #performanceisalive
Boxing with Szilard Gaspar
Zorzini Gallery at Volta Art Fair, NYC, March 1, 2017
By Alexandra Hammond
As a steady stream of people breezed through the long corridors of the Volta Art fair at Pier 90, concentration gathered at booth F01, occupied by Zorzini Gallery of Bucharest, Romania. A slender young man, Romanian artist Szilard Gaspar, with the face of a saint from a Spanish Golden Age painting, arrived in the booth, seated himself and began changing his shoes and taping his hands. His preparations were executed with the specificity of a trained athlete.
The intimacy of these actions was heightened by the art fair setting, where everyone’s gaze is trained to the external world of images, objects, opportunities for social networking, sales. The spectacle of the person changing from one activity to another, dressing and undressing, took on the importance that Mr. Rogers so aptly demonstrated in his children's show, where the ritual of the daily change of clothes, from outdoor jacket to cardigan, dress shoes to sneakers became a stabilizing routine and a marker of a boundary from one place and one kind of activity to the next. It was not so much a necessity, that the new activity could not be performed or inhabited without the wardrobe change, as a decision to enter a new mode of operation.
Performing our Reality / Dreaming our Escape - Notes from Satellite 2.0
Alexandra Hammond for Performance is Alive
It’s just before the opening of Satellite 2.0 and the Parisian hotel in Miami Beach is as ready as it will ever be. Each room has been cleared of furnishings and occupied by a gallery, curatorial project, artist collective or publication. Many have been transformed beyond recognition while others, including our booth for Performance is Alive, revel in the dingy tones of cream and pale-peach paint, making use of the vaguely sordid yet standardized markers of the hotel’s architecture of transience: dated carpeting, wall-mounted televisions and lamps.
We have covered the linty carpet with an uncanny layer of adhesive plastic rug-guard topped with beige drop cloths. Artist, Curator and Performance is Alive founder Quinn Dukes has been performing and managing performance events for years and knows that “performers get messy”. She is keen to support the artists and tend to the realization of their works as much as possible under the constraints of a nonexistent budget and the hotel setting. The only rule: no fire.
After a day and a half of nearly round-the-clock preparation (more for many of the elaborate booths) the Satellite Art fair feels like a possible setting for a Borges story: a world within the world, with its own sense of time and cultural mores.
The lobby is now equipped with a giant cereal bowl, titled F+++ Off, fashioned from a modified Doughboy pool and filled with enlarged Captain Crunch pieces sculpted out of foam. A bubble-bath fountain shaped like a giant milk carton pours down from above. Its creators, Jen Catron and Paul Outlaw don bathing suits and float in doughnut-styled inner tubes from time the fair opens until it closes each day. They take their job seriously, just like the exotic car rental agency that normally shares the lobby of the Parisian and continues its usual business throughout the fair, tending to and lending out a small stable of Lamborghinis and Rolls Royces that are parked out front.
Curator Jesse Firestone (creator of the Soothing Center and an organizer of the fair along with Founder Brian Whiteley) stops into our booth for Performance is Alive. Jessie, Quinn and I joke that if we had to stay at the Parisian forever, we would survive and make our own world. Like the Eagles’ Hotel California, but with more exuberance and less downfall.
The fantasy of the self-sustaining art-pod was particularly poignant in the days immediately following the presidential election. The final dissolution of the myth of American exceptionalism calls for action, and the temporary world-building represented by repurposing a hotel for a few days of art viewing (even as it participates in the commercial crush of Miami art week), can be seen as a utopic gesture, perhaps even an act of love towards a world that has revealed itself as a more troubled place than we had imagined.
Nestled on the second of three floors of this most wacky and artist-powered of the Miami art fairs, Performance is Alive’s room 15 was poised to be occupied by the first of its politically-charged performances. Artists addressed the interconnected subjects of landscape and environmental destruction, race, gender, consumer capitalism, labor, violence and eroticism. In short, the range of issues that arise when the medium is the ever-political, ever-present body.
#AliveAtSatellite - Performance IS Alive PRESENTS 4 DAYS OF PROGRAMMING AT SATELLITE ART SHOW, MIAMI ART WEEK
We have been hard at work reviewing hundreds of performance proposals from incredible performance artists across the globe for #AliveAtSatellite, Performance Is Alive's non-stop programming at SATELLITE ART SHOW during Miami Art Week 2016. We are incredibly delighted to present these daring projects from an amazing group of artists. Throughout the fair’s duration multi-media performance artists confront a myriad of contemporary issues such as body politics, race, economic inequality, climate change and intimacy in the digital age. Over twenty short form, durational and video based performance works will be presented throughout SATELLITE 2.0. We hope to see you in Miami but if you can't join us on the beach, stay tuned for live stream details! - Quinn Dukes + Alexandra Hammond
SATELLITE ART SHOW // The Parisian Hotel, 1510 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, FL 33139
PRESS PREVIEW: December 1st: 12 – 3 pm
December 1st: 3 pm – 10 pm
December 2nd: 12 pm – 10 pm
December 3rd: 12 pm – 10 pm
December 4th: 12 pm – 6 pm
Confirmed artists include: Agrofemme and Ian DeLeon (NYC), Thomas Albrecht (NY), Trevor Amery (CA), Joseph Bigley (NC), Monica Jahan Bose (DC), Hector Canonge (NYC), Alberto Checa (FL), Dominique Duroseau (NYC), Ayana Evans (NYC), Sean Fader (NYC), Whit Forrester (Chicago), Vanessa Dion Fletcher (Chicago), Philip Fryer (Boston), Elan Jurado (NYC), Olga Kozmanidze (Moscow, RUS), Jenna Maurice (TN/CO), Sergio Mora (FL), Violet Overn and Emma Sulkowicz, Miriam Parker in collaboration with Christina Smiros and Jo Wood-Brown (NYC), Sarah H. Paulson (NY), Miles Pflanz (NYC), Selma Selman (Bosnia/Herzegovina) Alexandra Sullivan (NYC), Marcela Torres and Chase Calloway, J.R. Uretsky (RI)
.Away from the Miami convention center and the massive white art fair tents was the Artist-Run show at the now derelict Ocean Terrace Hotel, an art deco building awaiting demolition or redevelopment. The unairconditioned corridors and rooms-turned-galleries of the old hotel were nevertheless a breath of fresh air on the heels of a day at the sparkling big money fairs.
Each room of the Ocean Terrace Hotel had been transformed (to a varying degree) by the gallery, nonprofit, or artist-run space that occupied it. The decidedly non-white-cube conditions of the building demanded an installation approach. Most rooms dealt not only with the walls of the rooms themselves, but also made use of bathrooms, floors, ceilings, windows and doors. In this sense (and augmented by the heat and humidity of a Miami evening) Artist-Run was an exhibition that consciously engaged the body of the viewer. Likewise, explicitly performative events that took place in the hotel were intimately intertwined with the space itself. A few examples are summarized below.
Beast Boutique, Yellow Peril Gallery (Providence, RI)
Artist Jennifer Avery’s Beast Boutique was a composed clutter of photographs, photocopies, and hybrid doll-stuffed-animals-garments. She called it “the chaos of the forest”. Walls, floor and all corners were inhabited. Upon entry into the boutique, the artist would ask if the viewer would allow her to choose a garment for her, assuring, upon a friendly sizing-up, that she would “choose the perfect one.” Through this interaction, the viewer noticed that the installation was, in fact, populated with these wearable artworks in brightly-colored, frankenstein-stitched silk, lace, wool and fur, often displaying vestiges of their former use as more conservative garments.
Some were full masks, others shawl-like necklaces adorned with oversized talismans made of stuffed-animal parts. Hand-made stuffed dolls (all alike) were lined up along walls and in corners looking like a cross between 19th century children’s toys and the mummy cats of the ancient Egyptians. Walls were plastered with images of these props and the artist (fully painted and adorned as a human-animal fairytail character, performing in a wooded setting), layering objects with images and creating a complex visual mythology. Beast Boutique was at once scary and exuberant. It had the enclosed, non dream logic of a fairytale and the sense of humor of a neon forest.
Stupid Bar // Open Space at Artist-Run Miami // images by Q. Dukes
Stupid Bar, Open Space (Baltimore, MD)
Stupid Bar was the creation of Baltimore artist-run gallery Open Space at Artist-Run in the Ocean Terrace Hotel. This was an actual bar complete with a few varieties of drinks, a stripper’s pole and constant Karaoke performances. It was impossible to tell whether these were performed by friends and associates of the gallery or visitors to Artist-Run, as everyone was invited to participate while enjoying canned beers and cocktails and reading the myriad handmade signage adorning the walls and shelves of the installation like so many neon signs and beer posters at a dive bar.
Because of the hotel room setting, Stupid Bar also held a tinge of nostalgia for a teenager’s room where a secret party might place after parents have gone to bed. A large chalkboard hung on the wall immediately to the right upon entry stating: “Postmodernism is just a cool word for Postmodernism.” Another in red, green and black advertised the fact that all drinks were $11 while another commanded, “Notice this notice.”
In spite of the jokey atmosphere of Stupid Bar, it was a locus for the free spirited exuberance of TSA’s Satellite Art Show, a taste of what actually makes people love art. Stupid Bar’s funny signs, its dildo microphones and underwear-clad gender-bending karaoke divas generated something profound that viewers and artists could participate in and sink their teeth into. As Paddy Johnson put it in Art F City, “[Artist-Run] gives artists a voice, and somewhat counter-intuitively that’s most needed here in Miami, during the biggest art fair week in the country.” Stupid Bar was a gathering place and a way station for this energy. - Alexandra Hammond, Miami Art Week Correspondent
artist-run shout outs!
Bushwick-based Wild Torus’ baccanale at The Pharmacy (one of Satellite Art Fair’s 2015 Miami art week locations and an actual former pharmacy) culminated in 5-7 naked performers writhing and wrestling (lube, paint and flour-covered) on a square dance floor covered in garbage bag-like plastic tarp. Viewer-participants (participation is encouraged at Wild Torus happenings) were offered black trash bags to cover their art-fair finery so that they could stand at close range without being completely dusted by flour or splattered with paint and lube, which was being doled out in plastic wine glasses by two young men with shaved heads. These attendants were encouraging in spite of what could be read as an intimidating appearance: tall, wiry, shirtless and vaguely punk, wearing jean cutoff shorts. They encouraged viewers to pour the fluids over the wrestling, contact-improvisational knot of bodies on the mat. Flour and fluids: poured on by turns, lubing up the orgiastic mass and then powdering it down.
On the wall behind, a video projection of the live action spanned nearly from floor to ceiling, offering the option to experience the scene at hand as a mediated spectacle. This was Miami art week after all, and many of us who were visiting art fairs had spent plenty of time in recent days looking at and snapping shots of artworks through the screens of our smartphones. For a performance collective that specializes in viewer participation, the video projection was an apt comment on touristic looking vs. bodily engagement. Both were available modes of interaction with the work, though most viewers seemed to be compelled by the live action.
One might rightly question the relevance of Wild Torus’ work more than 50 years after Carolee Schneemann's Meat Joy, Allan Kaprow’s happenings and countless other examples of live art with multiple bodies. But for those of us too young to have attended these now historic performances, the relevance is that we get to experience such a performance in real time and in the flesh. It is one thing to know that such events have taken place in the history of art, and entirely another to negotiate the the social situation generated by the live action.
And in spite of the orgiastic, chaotic character of Wild Torus’ performance, it is the subtle social negotiations that make it interesting. Within our culture of internet pornography, media spectacle, and a half-century of body art, the shock value of coed naked wrestling is negligible. What remains potent is the negotiation between Wild Torus members and audience members as they are invited to participate in the performance ritual. Does one feel coerced, uncomfortable, excited by the invitation to pour flour and paint on the performers? Does one put on the garbage bag poncho so that one can stand close to the action, or does one keep one’s distance so that one’s clothes and shoes stay clean? Does one, in fact, jump into the action on the mat? These options are all available for the viewer / participant. Even more than the content or choreography of the Wild Torus performance, it was the exposition of these choices that was of interest. The performance highlighted the fact that we are constantly negotiating our engagement with other bodies in space and that the boundaries of this engagement are up to us. - Alexandra Hammond, Miami Art Week Correspondent for Performance Is Alive
Scoping out the live performance events during Miami Art Week (aka Art Basel Miami) is no easy feat in a mass of object-based exhibitions! But we are committed to this mission and recommend the following performance events thru the lasting duration of the week. Hope to see you there and stay tuned for our performance recaps! - Quinn Dukes + Alexandra Hammond
Performance Is Alive is in Miami for Miami Art Week 2015! We are thrilled to introduce Alexandra Hammond, our Miami Art Week performance correspondent. In true Performance Is Alive fashion, we interviewed Hammond to learn more about her background, thoughts on the art fair model and of course, performance art! Enjoy the interview below and stay tuned on our Facebook and Instagram page for live updates.