[ALIVE PODCAST] Interview featuring Filipino-American Artist Jeffrey Augustine Songco, Artist-in-Residence at the Mattress Factory
Performance is Alive Director, Quinn Dukes, interviews multi-media artist, Jeffrey Augustine Songco. Jeffrey is an Artist-in-Residence at the Mattress Factory and premieres his installation, "Society of 23’s Trophy Game Room" on March 12, 2021. Augustine Songco discusses the challenges of being a gay, Filipino-American artist, the process of being an artist-in-residence during the COVID-19 pandemic and the creation of his own reality show.
Quinn Dukes: My name is Quinn Dukes. I'm the Director of Performance is Alive and I'm so excited to be here (via Zoom) today with a multidisciplinary artist Jeffrey who, I am going to let have the great honor of introducing yourself and tell us a little bit about where you are right now.
Jeffrey Augustine Songco: Sounds great. Thanks, Quinn, my name is Jeffrey Augustine Songco and I’m actually in Grand Rapids, Michigan right now and we just got a wicked snowstorm so there's a lot of snow on the ground.
Just a quick background: I was born and raised in New Jersey. My parents immigrated from the Philippines. I grew up doing ballet and musical theatre. So you know that all kind of translated into me today doing a lot of work, based on my body performing for the camera. Trying to get that role, from the casting director I didn't get 30 years ago you know just trying to get over these obstacles and traumas that I had when I was a child.
In 2016, Vanessa Dion Fletcher wowed the audience with #MenstrualAccessory, a convenient 1oz bottle of fabric dye that you use to cover your period stains with a much prettier pink color. This interactive performance was comedic, playful and incredibly relatable for me as one who experiences unpredictable cycles! The piece offered an alternative option to the feeling of shame when "caught" with visible spotting.
In our continued interest of reflecting back on live performances presented for our Alive at Satellite series, I reconnected with Vanessa to learn about the evolution of #MestrualAccessory and gather a few updates on current projects. So great to re-connect, Vanessa!
Enjoy, Quinn Dukes
Performance Is Alive: You presented #MenstrualAccessory at Satellite in 2016. Did you perform this work again? If so, where did you present it and how did it evolve?
Vanessa Dion Fletcher: I performed #MenstrualAccessory several more times since showing it at the Satellite Art Fair. The most notable performance was at the Society For Menstrual Cycle Research Conference in 2019 Colorado College, Colorado Springs. Each time I perform the work I like to make connections to the audience or place. During this presentation, I was able to reference some of the other conference presentations and themes people had been talking about.
I also presented it at the Queer Arts Festival in Vancouver, that performance was special because there were a lot of queer indigenous people in the audience, who really appreciated my approach and humor. I wrote an article about the work for them and I have attached the article [see below]. The catalogue can be purchased at https://queerartsfestival.com/catalogues-2/.
In honor of today being proclaimed Satellite Art Show Day in Miami, performance curator of Satellite and Founder of Performance is Alive, Quinn Dukes, selected her Top 5 #AliveAtSatelliteMiami performance moments. With nearly 100 performances to choose from, this short list is merely a small glimpse into the powerhouse performers that have presented live works in Miami over the past 4 years.
Special thanks to all of the tremendous performers on this list. You inspire us everyday! We look forward to presenting live performance again in 2021. 💗
Despite our inability to produce live events this year, we've been given an opportunity to reflect back on the incredibly daring and powerful performances presented during our Alive At Satellite events over the past 4 years. If feels like yesterday that we were trying to visualize a non-stop performance art space within an art fair. Would it actually work? It did, and it has been an incredible honor to spotlight nearly 200 artists since our first event.
The opening day of our very first Alive at Satellite event was Sean Fader's Yessss Gaga, Slay Momma! performed by local Miami drag performer, Queef Latina. Yessss Gaga, Slay Momma! featured an acapella chorus of millennial singers (and Queef Latina) streaming selfie videos with the new Sospendo hands free selfie sticks. The chorus sang for nearly 2 hours at the front entrance of Satellite, encouraging all guests to shoot their own videos and pics with the repeated phrase "Yessss Gaga, Slay Momma!" It was a comedic and jovial piece while also tapping into the cultural obsession with selfie and social media representation.
Sean Fader is a photographer, performance artist and educator. We reconnected with Sean about how he's doing during the pandemic.
PERFORMANCE IS ALIVE: You presented Yasssssss Gaga, Slay Momma at Satellite in 2016, have you performed this work again?
SEAN FADER: Nope.
PIA: Where are you currently located?
SF: New Orleans, LA. USA
PIA: Are you teaching during the pandemic?
SF: I am teaching in person.. And it has been the beautiful marriage of a dumpster fire, train wreck, and crusty the clown.
PIA: Are you currently presenting and/or preparing for future performance projects?
SF: Not currently but of course yes! I had a show up (THIRST/TRAP) at Denny Dimin Gallery, June 18th - August 21st.
PIA: Has the pandemic impacted your art practice?
SF: Totally! My show at DDG went up and changed a ton!
PIA: We recommend checking out this interview focused on Fader's recent exhibition, THIRST/TRAP.
Give2Grace, As Grace has given to so many of us
By Quinn Dukes
To say that the live performance community has been struck, traumatized and forced to reconstruct itself may be an understatement. The past 6 months have been enormously challenging for performance artists, curators and producers of live events. Throughout it all, several organizations have maintained momentum with online programming and Grace Exhibition Space led by Jill McDermid and Hoke Hokanson is one space that continues to persist.
Grace Exhibition Space is dear to me. It was the catalyst of many personal and professional performance and curatorial projects. Grace provided an access point into an art world that otherwise seemed expensive and elusive. I am forever indebted to this organization and have spent the last 3 years serving on its Board of Directors. Next week, Grace launches an ambitious, week-long program devoted to celebrating the work presented at the new Lower East Side location while candidly calling for financial support.
Next week, show up for the virtual events. Share the announcements and help ensure that one of the few remaining spaces committed to artists, maintains a presence within New York City. Donate Today.
#Give2Grace is a seven-day virtual event for Grace Exhibition Space about witnessing and giving to sustain a vital resource for local and international Performance Artists and secure the future of our organization. Streamed on our website and Facebook (@grace.exhibition.space), #Give2Grace begins Tuesday, September 22nd and concludes Monday, September 28th and will feature video premieres, updates from current artists-in-residence, interviews, and a culminating panel discussion. Featured Grace Space performance alums include: Miao Jiaxin, Martin O'Brien, Arantxa Araujo, Nicole Goodwin, Kris Grey, Alex Romania, Nicola Fornoni, and resident artists, Dee Dee Maucher and Dragonfly (Robin Laverne Wilson).
Grace Exhibition Space is evolving. Relocating to Manhattan renewed our energy and doubled down on our dedication to champion Performance Art in all its forms. A silver lining around the pandemic is that we have been given an opportunity to breathe, reflect, and identify ways to remain a continued resource for artists and audiences around the world. We need support in order to make this happen.
The artists in this program are alums of Grace Exhibition Space who have presented work at the new Manhattan venue. This micro-retrospective of selected artists from the past two years embraces a multitude of styles, from body-based work to social or relational practices, embodying a wide range of approaches to the limitless medium of Performance Art.
There are several ways that you can #Give2Grace: Paypal, Venmo or ActBlue. ActBlue Charities is a registered charitable organization formed to democratize charitable giving by being a flexible & free fundraising platform to harness grassroots power. Your support goes toward 2020/21 performance art commissions and securing a development coordinator to aid in our quest for sustainability. Grace Exhibition Space is a 501c3 organization and donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed under law.
PROGRAM of EVENTS | Full Details
Tuesday, Sept 22 - Day 1 @ 7pm EST | Facebook Video Premiere featuring Director of Grace Exhibition Space, Jill McDermid, interviewed by Jana Astanov. In an opening video, we look back at a select number of performances presented at Grace Exhibition Space spanning our past two years in the Lower East Side.
Wed, Sept 23 - Day 2 @ 7pm EST | Facebook Video Premiere of documentation from the inaugural event at our new Manhattan location: 182 Avenue C. Featuring performance documentation of works by Miao Jiaxin (NYC/China) and Martin O'Brien (London, UK).
Thurs, Sept 24 - Day 3 @ 7pm EST | Facebook Video Premiere highlighting performance documentation from international artists, Arantxa Araujo (Mexico) and Nicola Fornoni (Italy).
Friday, Sept 25 - Day 4 @ 7pm EST | Facebook Video Premiere highlighting past performances from New York City Based artists Nicole Goodwin (NYC) and Kris Grey (NYC). Goodwin comes to performance through a career in writing and poetry. Grey, a gender-queer artist, also presents curatorial projects, writing, and studio production.
Saturday, Sept 26 - Day 5 @ 7pm EST | Facebook Video Premiere highlights summer 2020 artists-in-residence, Dee Dee Maucher (NYC) and Dragonfly aka Robin Laverne Wilson (NYC). Throughout the residency, Maucher grew immune boosting foods while engaging with the local community to create 30k Seedlings & Bokashi Balls. The seedlings and bioremediating Bokashi balls distributed as a tribute to those who succumbed to Covid-19. Dragonfly presented a sociopoetic and orthographic exploration on the multiple definitions of FUGITIVE and how they each relate to the heightened understanding of Blackness and its endurance in the midst of never ending viral harms of casual, structural, systemic, epidemic and state-sponsored white supremacy.
Sunday. Sept 27 - Day 6 @ 7pm EST | Facebook Video Premiere highlights past performers that are also fellow NYC performance community organizers with Alex Romania (The Woods Performance Space).
Monday, Sept 28 - Day 7 Live Zoom Panel Discussion @ 7pm EST | #Give2Grace culminates in a conversation with all the featured artists along with co-directors of Grace Exhibition Space, Jill McDermid and Hoke Hokanson, moderated by Quinn Dukes.
[ALIVE PODCAST] Interview featuring Bushwick-based performance artists and directors of Para\\el performance space, IV Castellanos and Amanda Hunt by Polina Riabova
Interview with IV Castellanos and Amanda Hunt (Brooklyn, NY)
By Polina Riabova
Polina: My name is Polina Riabova. I am director of programming at The Ear, a performance artist, a writer and a correspondent for Performance Is Alive. I'm here with IV Castellanos and Amanda Hunt who run the Brooklyn DIY performance space Para\\el. They are also performance artists in their own right. They are going on tour at the end of this month, which is February 2020. IV and Amanda welcome to the podcast!
Amanda Hunt: Thank you for having us.
IV Castellanos: Thank you very much.
Polina: We are here having tea at Para\\el… since we’re at Para\\el I want to ask you about your relationship to the space. Before Para\\el became Para\\el it was Panoply Performance Laboratory or PPL as it was known in our community and it was an essential, integral part of the Bushwick performance art scene and internationally; the performance community is quite small. Tell me about your relationship to PPL and how the takeover of the lease came about.
IV: I'm happy to take that one on. My relationship to PPL is my relationship to Esther, to start. [Esther Neff is the originator of PPL]. I'm going to get the years maybe wrong but we lived at Surreal Estate. That was around off the Morgan L probably around 2012/2013. Esther ran the performance space in collaboration with Brian [McCorkle] in the venue. When we all scattered out of that space - there was 30 people living in that building, a bunch of art, a lot of overlap of people - is when I segued into IV Soldiers and there was a gap of time in between when Esther took 104 over, which was Spread Art at the time run by Thomas Bell.
Interview with Isil Sol Vil and Marina Barsy Janer
November 12, 2019
Fort de France, Martinique
International Performance Art Festival (FIAP)
By Quinn Dukes
Isil Sol Vil (Catalonia) and Marina Barsy Janer (Puerto Rico) presented a ritual based performance within Martinique’s Grand Marché during FIAP 2019 curated by Annabel Guérédrat and Henri Tauliaut. The Grand Marché serves as a central hub for the local community. Unfortunately, the market experienced an electrical fire the week prior to the festival thus requiring the performers to adjust their original vision. Isil and Marina’s thoughtful work, Islas Cicatrices, opened portals and called out to spiritual energies to reassert magic and reject the assertion of humans as only producers.
On the final day of the FIAP festival, I interviewed Isil and Marina about their performance, Islas Cicatrices. We opened our discussion with an analysis of the performance objects (see list below) activated throughout the piece and the importance of their geographic origin.
You can experience the interview on our podcast channel or via redacted transcription below.
During my time visiting Martinique for the International Performance Art Festival (FIAP 2019), I was introduced to several new performance artists, performance curators and critics. It was refreshing to witness the niche discipline of performance art being supported by a week-long festival. I also had an opportunity to witness work from a few familiar artists including that of the well known Brooklyn-based performance artist, Miao Jiaxin.
Miao presented a durational performance entitled Border within the Fort de France's central Meat Market. Despite the age and heavy use of the location, Miao offered a very orderly installation composed of 2 cans of paint, 3 smoke alarms, 2 plastic basins, 2 traffic cones all sitting on top of a paper runway. Following the performance, I interviewed Miao to learn more about the material selections and conceptual intent.
My art is trying to be emotionlessly emotional. Because I am wordlessly anxious.
Performance Is Alive at Satellite Art Show Miami
Curated by Quinn Dukes
December 5-8, 2019
2210 NW Miami Court, Miami, FL (Wynwood District)
We are thrilled to announce our durational performance art and video performance selections for this year's Alive at Satellite Miami during Miami Art Basel Week 2019. All live performances will feature performance artists exploring durational performance actions. Durational performance allows artists the ability to employ repetition and endurance. Within an extended timeframe, conceptual actions can be more deeply explored allowing for discovery both within the artist and viewer. Durational performances will be presented by Coorain (Atlanta, GA, USA), Rae Goodwin (Lexington, KY, USA), Kiyo Gutiérrez (Guadalajara, Mexico), Amanda Kleinhans (Tallahassee, FL, USA) and Ginger Wagg + Mike Dimpfl (Carrboro, NC, USA).
Our Alive at Satellite Miami programming will also feature video performance projects from Sylvain Souklaye (Copenhagen/Denmark), El Putnam (Galway, Ireland), Katina Bitsicas (Columbia, MO, USA), Lariel Joy (Chicago, IL, USA) and L'Idylle | arts vivants (Montreal, Canada). This diverse selection of performative video works investigate a wide-range of social and political topics. Sylvain Souklaye's vulnerable video highlights the negative influence of digital stimulus. El Putnam explores the future of Irish borders post Brexit. Katina Bitsicas offers an opportunity for a heart transplant survivor to reclaim and transform traumatic hospital experiences. Lariel Joy draws on their traditional Korean heritage in the age of diaspora. And the Montreal-based collaborative, L'Idylle | arts vivants proudly celebrate LGBTQ+ diversity.
We look forward to seeing you back in Miami for Satellite Art Show's fifth edition during Miami Art Week!
It is a great pleasure to continue our FIAP2019 Artist Feature + Interview series with Montréal and Saint-Alphonse-Rodriguez based artist-author-composer(+), André Eric Letourneau. Letourneau has performed since the 1980's and truly enlivens multi-media within his performance practice. His upcoming work for Martinique's International Performance Art Festival (FIAP2019), Standard III, employs the notions of chance and social practice. In our interview discussion, Letourneau clarifies the term "transmedia artist" and expands on his call to participation performance, Standard III.
In honor of Martinique's upcoming performance art festival, FIAP 2019, we are pleased to highlight NYC based artist, Hector Canonge. This is Canonge's second time presenting performance for FIAP. During our discussion, Canonge discusses the influences of place and community building on his performance and curatorial practice. Canonge performs a new solo work on Monday, November 11th from 3-6pm and in collaboration throughout the festival.
Check out the full FIAP 2019 festival schedule here and stay tuned for live reporting from the event!
FESTIVAL INTERNATIONAL D’ART PERFORMANCE - MARTINIQUE (FIAP 2019) Welcomes Performers, Curators and Art critics for their Second Iteration - November 5-12, 2019
We're headed to Martinique as proud sponsors of Martinique's upcoming International Performance Art Festival, FIAP, held November 5-12 2019. The festival is co-curated by Caribbean artists Annabel Guérédrat and Henri Tauliaut. FIAP 2019 stretches across 10 locations, allowing both local and visiting performance artists to become fully immersed within the local community.
The festival's programming is uniquely orchestrated to not only presented solo performances, but ore often, collaborative works between artists hailing from different parts of the world. It is clear that Guérédrat and Tauliaut are interested in building longstanding relationships amongst their local community of Martinique.
This year's FIAP 2019 performers hail from all over the world including: Hector Canonge (NYC, USA), André Eric Letourneau (Canada), Isil Sol Vil and Marina Jarsy Baner (Spain), Alex Côté (Montreal, Canada), Nyugen Smith (New Jersey, USA), Alicja Korek (Paris, France). Ludgi Savon (Martinique), Miao Jiaxin (NYC, USA), Lara Kramer (Canada), Marvin Fabien (Dominica), Henri Tauliaut (Martinique), Yves Bercion (Guadeloupe), Junior Estimé.
Stay tuned for FIAP2019 reviews, recaps and live feeds of performances on Insta via our Director + Founder, Quinn Dukes. As curator for Satellite Art Show, Dukes will also meet with performers to discuss their performance practice and upcoming projects. We look forward to seeing you in Martinique!
Earlier this month, we presented the work of 40 international performance and video artists at Satellite Art Show NYC located in Brooklyn's Pfizer Building. It was truly an explosive program during which no two moments were the same. The performers transformed the energy of the fair whether they were within the Performance is Alive space or roaming within the context of the fair itself. In addition to our live performances, we presented the work of 23 video artist with special screenings of Barbara Rosenthal and Rachel Rampleman.
We are pleased to share the documentation of #AliveAtSatelliteNYC with you and look forward to seeing you at our upcoming programming at Satellite Art Show Miami 2019!
Performance Is Alive at Satellite Art Show NYC Artist Announcement
Curated by Quinn Dukes
October 3-6, 2019
Pfizer Building, 630 Flushing Avenue, 1st Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11206
We are THRILLED to publicly announce our upcoming programming for Satellite Art Show NYC! As usual, we will feature several artists that are local to the fair's location while integrating programming from an international group of performance and video artists. Our live performance programming will run throughout all 4 days of Satellite Art Show, featuring 17 live durational actions. Our screening program features 23 dynamically diverse works exploring performance, ritual and body politics. We are additionally honored to host a special screening featuring the work of seminal video artist, Barbara Rosenthal.
Stay tuned for our performance and screening schedule. You will undoubtedly experience something different each time you visit our space.
FEATURING PERFORMANCE ART from
Thomas Albrecht (New York, NY), Christie Blizard (San Antonio, TX), Mairead Delaney (VT), Vyczie Dorado (New York, NY), Rebecca Fitton (NY/England), Kathie Halfin (NY/Ukraine) Markus Holtby (Larchmont, NY), Amanda Hunt and IV Castellanos (Brooklyn, NY), Amanda Kleinhans (Tallahassee, FL), SUNGJAE LEE (Chicago/Korea), Stephanie McGovern (Brooklyn, NY), Butch Merigoni (Brooklyn, NY), Matthias Neumann (NY/Germany), Christopher Unpezverde Núñez (NY/Costa Rica), Alison Pirie (Brooklyn, NY), Sandrine Schaefer (Boston, MA), Wild Actions - Patience, Carley McCready-Bingham, Ginger Wagg (Chapel Hill, NC)
FEATURING VIDEOS from
Carolina Alamilla (Miami, FL), Alex Apostolidis (Montreal, Canada), Katina Bitsicas (Columbia, MO), Jeffery Byrd (IO), Victor de La Rocque (Sao Paulo, Brazil), Christina M Dietz (Jersey City, NJ), Julha Franz (Porto Alegre, Brazil), Tales Frey (Portugal/Brazil), Edgar Fabián Frías (Tulsa, OK), Igor Furtado (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), Rodrigo Gomes (Lisbon, Portugal), Jiang Feng (New Taipei City, Taiwan), Maria Del Pilar (PILI) Lopez-Saavedra (New York, NY), Tone Haldrup Lorenzen (Berlin, Germany), Nadja Verena Marcin (Brooklyn, NY), Rachel L Rampleman (New York, NY), Barbara Rosenthal (New York, NY), Monstera Deliciosa (NY/London), Sylvain Souklaye (Copenhagen/France), Alison Starr (Dallas, Texas), Natacha Voliakovsky (Buenos Aires, Argentina), Christopher Willauer, Cherrie Yu (Chicago, IL)
PUBLIC FAIR HOURS
Thursday, October 3: 5pm – 12am (VIP/Press Preview)
Friday, October 4: 5pm – 12am
Saturday, October 5: 12pm – 12am
Sunday, October 6: 12pm – 6pm
We are so excited to invite you to the first of many Performance Is Alive events this fall! On Saturday, September 7th, we will present an encore screening of our video program originally presented at Satellite Art Show during SXSW. This screening program will be followed by a pre-fair party celebrating the upcoming Satellite Art Show NYC.
Among the 15 video projects, our screening program features the work of award winning filmmakers, Tif Robinette + Ian Deleón (aka PULSAR) for their film, Velvet Cry, a story inspired by the 18th century hoax of Mary Toft. An unexpected character is positioned to execute karaoke in Ryan Hawk’s video, Sweet Surrender. Jessica Yatrofsky and NY FEM FACTORY’s video stars Lil’ Touches performing the story of a scorned woman “calling out” a former lover in Cunt Keeper. Award winning artist, Chun Hua Catherine Dong’s, The Sign, explores the visual culture of shame in relation to the body.
Scarlett by Christie Blizard (San Antonio, TX) • Mattress Power by Charles Chace and Ginger Wagg (Carrboro, NC) • The Sign by Chun Hua Catherine Dong (Montreal, Canada) • Velvet Cry by Tif Robinette + Ian Deleón (Gainesville, FL) • Un muro que parte el cuerpo en dos by Kiyo Gutiérrez (Guadalajara, Mexico) • Sweet Surrender by Ryan Hawk (Houston, TX) • The Little Hand of Love by Pei-Ling Ho (New York, NY) • Contingencia by Manuel López (Daimús, Spain) • Mountains, Joshua Tree by Jenna Maurice (Denver, CO) • Men Do Not Nourish by Maryam Nazari (London) • The Pelvic Theatre Presents the History of Hysteria by Alison Pirie (Brooklyn, NY) • Hábito by Rocha & Polse (Barcelona, Spain) • WE ARE ALL WHORES by Natacha Voliakovsky (Buenos Aires, Argentina) • Cunt Keeper by Jessica Yatrofsky and NY FEM FACTORY (New York, NY)
Location: Grace Exhibition Space, 182 Avenue C., New York, NY 11206
6pm Screening program followed by a discussion from Satellite Art Show team
7:30pm-11pm Drinks and Dancing
Cost: $10 donation (proceeds go to fund the performance program at the fair)
Can't make the pre-fair party? Please consider sending us a tax-deductible donation here. We hope to see you soon!
Review: Layers of Erasure
AC Institute, NYC
by Damariz Damken
Layers of Erasure by Natacha Voliakovsky (Argentina) and Julha Franz (Brazil) is a performance that questions the ephemerality of the visible and tangible through our perception and subjection to social, political and gendered violence to unmask what is “real”.
As Latin American artists Voliakovsky and Franz collectively position their political critiques by exercising their autonomy to transform the human body as praxis. They juxtapose their approaches to performance in conjunction to create complementary pieces that dialogue with one another, while simultaneously opening a conversation with the audience. Upon entering the performance space, the artists keep themselves out of plain sight, leaving the audience to wander a seemingly empty room and instead observe video recordings of each artist undergoing independent performances. These videos in themselves reflect a critical argument of the artists’ line of work and practice, and present yet another layer beneath which the artists choose to conceal themselves. Brazilian artist, Julha Franz, situates her piece from within a boxed space elusive to the eye as just another black wall in the gallery. However, upon closer observation, one notices light escaping from cautiously carved peeping-holes that outline a figure: one hole at eye level, two in the chest resembling nipples, and one centered at groin level. The viewer is compelled to find the so-far hidden artists and in looking through the holes, satiates their curiosity.
As a queer femme artist, Franz’ line of work centers on transforming herself and body by exploring drag culture and playing with the hyper-politicized intersections of gender and sexuality through performance. Politically, Franz’ work protests and challenges pertinent issues of violent repression against queer and female identities. In hiding behind the black gallery walls, she performatically subjects herself back into the closet, physically and metaphorically. Franz’s piece interacts with the audience by also inviting them to participate in the ‘role-play’ of performance by becoming a voyeur, observing through the peeping-holes. We find Franz painting her face with makeup as she transforms into a Drag King. This vision immediately forces the audience to question the premise of Franz’s hiding and feels as though they are intruding in a private ritual, thus exposing the taboo. In continuing to observe through the remaining holes, the audience now as another character in the performance, observes how Franz chooses to reveal and conceal parts of her body. She leaves one side of her chest exposed and the other covers her nipple with a piece of black tape. Looking into the last hole, the viewer expects to observe the groin of a human body given its location but is instead dazed by a bright light. In this way, Franz reappropriates the trope of the male-gaze by forcing the viewer into the role of “Peeping Tom”. Her political statement subverts the hetero-centric patriarchal stereotypes of Drag culture and Queerness. And through this subjective role-reversal, regains her autonomy as a dissident identity outside the frame that chooses the parameters through which they can be seen.
Simultaneously, Natacha Voliakovsky constructs her frame by arranging the equipment utilized for her performance hung in a horizontal line against the wall: a pair of medical scissors, two latex gloves, a syringe, a bag of cotton balls, a stool resting on its side on the floor. The empty sterile environment once again leaves the audience with an unsettling feeling of discomfort as if out of place. Eventually, Voliakovsky appears dressed modestly in monochrome. She slowly approaches the “operating table” set up and begins prepping for her performance by assembling an injection. Sitting on the stool, Voliakovsky proceeds her durational performance lasting nearly forty minutes by injecting her legs over and over again in micro doses of anti-cellulite solution until the syringe is empty.
As an Argentine artist, Voliakovksy’s political narrative pushes the boundaries of the human form in its most viscerally vulnerable essence to expose its strength and resilience. Her praxis challenges what is perceived or understood as “natural” for the human body by engaging with her own physical self as a warred territory. Voliakovsky literally embodies this struggle for dominion by physically and metaphorically bearing the pain and violence of patriarchal political and cultural regimes. She too reappropriates this repression by subjecting herself to a procedure socioculturally understood as a private matter. However, in constructing her own space and assuming the role of both administrator and patient against the public view, Voliakovsky rejects confining herself into a concealed clinic scenario dominated by male practitioners and reclaims the authority to permanently transform her own body according to her terms. In bearing witness, the audience is forced to contemplate yet another taboo ritual and questions the internalization of their own physical and psychological repression.
Situating these performances within our contemporary time and space in New York City, these Latin American artists raise critically relevant questions of political body autonomy and gendered violence worldwide. At the peak of Pride celebrations and preparations, Natacha Voliakovsky and Julha Franz carve at the root of the crises driving the urgency for these social movements. Abortion rights and access in the United States continue to be under attack at the same pace that the fight for legalized abortion in Argentina has culminated in protests nationwide. The deaths of over ten transgender women in the United States alone, most recently Layleen Polanco Extravaganza 27; the sentencing of Mariana Gomez (Argentina) to one year in prison for kissing her wife; and Brazil’s highest reported LGBTQ murder rate in the world, reveal the war, violence and repression against marginalized bodies and identities persists. Franz and Voliakovsky juxtapose their subjectivity, insisting we collectively reconsider our own confinement and compliance as both victims and prosecutors of the structures of violence that coerce the erasure of our bodies. They expose themselves as vessels revealing difficult truths and carry a question that seems easy to ask but hard to answer: What do the layers of our own erasure truly conceal?
ARTIST FEATURE with NICOLE GOODWIN - ERASURE and Reflections on “Ain’t I a Woman (?/!): Dusk Chronicles II”
Reflections on Ain’t I a Woman (?/!): Dusk Chronicles II, Satellite Art Show SXSW, March 2019
by Nicole Goodwin
The concept of self-discovery through performance art is one that has been erected on a consistent basis. It is the struggle to find one’s self by digging through the layers upon layers of identity, peeling back the ego and the psyche to unearth ideas that are fresh, new and groundbreaking. That was the purpose behind my performance “Ain’t I a Woman (?/!): Dusk Chronicles II” at the Museum of Human Achievement (MoHA) with Performance Is Alive. I was searching for self through the idea of “erasure.” Trying to discover or “recode” myself through swimming into the murky sea of mixed-race genetics, while trying to redefine self and what it is to be Black. Or rather looking into the depths of my own soul searching for the reality I wish to form outside of oppression while recognizing that oppression is indeed all around me trying to take over my mind and body. Diving headfirst into what makes this corruption a solid thing—what is the force that is trying to corrupt my spirit?
Artist and Curator Kimia Kline is Taking Williamsburg’s Wythe Hotel Live With Time-Based Art Programming By Alexandra Hammond
Artist and Curator Kimia Kline is Taking Williamsburg’s Wythe Hotel Live With Time-Based Art Programming
By Alexandra Hammond
The Wythe Hotel, cornerstone of upscale bohemian Williamsburg is inviting time-based works into its walls through its residency program. I spoke with artist-cum-curator Kimia Kline earlier this spring to learn about her vision for the theater space and how she sees the potential for a hotel to double as a cultural institution.
While The Wythe is popular with New Yorkers seeking rooftop views and art events, it also has a unique ability to convene an audience of visitors from the world over, thus exposing the work and ideas of Brooklyn-based artists to an audience that might never think of visiting a gallery, let alone an alternative performance space.
The residency was awarded to four artists this year: vocalist, and dance artist Quenton Stuckey; interdisciplinary artist Katya Grokhovsky; filmmaker and comedian Tynan DeLong; and artist and gallerist Scott Ogden. Each artist was chosen for the boundary-breaking quality of their work, and their willingness to share aspects of their creative process with the audience in the setting of the Wythe hotel cinema.
Reflections of Performance/ Thoughts while performing, They tried to bury us proverb.
Alive at Satellite Art Show Austin | SXSW Week 2019
By Christian Cruz
Before I knew it, I was 5 min late to start my performance and a small audience of five people were waiting for me. I quickly got into the empty space within the dirt mound and sat legs crossed. The black mulch was wet and cold as I moved it onto my body. Soon, Quinn Dukes came to help me push the dirt onto me, planting me, like the flower I intended to be. The soft grunts and deep breaths from Quinn, plus the growing audience let me know her help had become part of the performance. “Mmmm dirt,” someone sitting down at the pews in front of us remarked. —“Yes, it smells good,” I added. “What about the smell of nail polish, though?” I continued while smirking. That’s when the performance started for me. Quinn was still pushing dirt over my shoulders when I whispered to her if she could do me a favor. She moved from behind me to my side. “Will you please bury these for me?” I pointed to my head scarf and gloves I had abandoned near the mound of dirt. I didn’t want her to take these items, now that I had an audience. It seemed more natural to accept Quinn as a part of my performance. She eagerly obliged and buried them into the mound. I said thank you before she walked away.
I started very excited: painted each nail on one hand, blew on my fingers, painted each nail on the other hand, blew on those fingers, looked at both hands, posed with hands on my face, and made eye contact while smiling when doing all these things, then repeated. For the most part, people were very warm. They smiled back and looked me in the eyes for the length of time I stared into them. I looked over to those entering and exiting and grew to have lots of control over the space. Every once in a while someone entering the fair, would not feel comfortable with me looking at them. They quickly moved through the space while covering their face, only giving me a small glimpse of them every other step. It was evident they simply didn’t like to make eye contact and that I made them uncomfortable because they were not comfortable with themselves. Another group of people were less shy and more annoyed. This group did not walk behind the pews like most people did but walked in between the space of the audience and myself. They walked through the space as if I didn’t exist, not just once but thrice. Each time I followed them with my sight, smiling and painting my nails. It made me think how sometimes, people decide they dislike performance art before they so much as give it a glance/chance.
Performance Art Permeates Austin this week during SXSW - Alive at Satellite Art Show (March 13-17, 2019)
Alive At Satellite
March 13-17, 2019
Satellite Art Show Austin
Museum of Human Achievement, 3600 Lyons Road, Austin, TX 78702
Performance Is Alive performance space
Curated by Quinn Dukes | Contact: email@example.com
Performance Is Alive continues to offer Satellite Art Show viewers a rare opportunity to experience bold, unapologetic and socially conscious projects through the boundless manifestations of performance art. In collaboration with Houston-based artist and organizer, Julia Claire Wallace (Creative Director of Experimental Action Festival), our live programming celebrates the work of emerging and established Texas-based artists while integrating the performance video works of a global performance community.
Artists will activate our live programming with interactive performances, durational gestures, audio scoring and projection mapping. Performance highlights include Houston's seminal performance artist, Jim Pirtle’s exploration of PTSD treatments through ice, projection and multi-media. Michael Anthony García's work investigates the alienness of being a person of color while creating tulle clad sculptures to a live a cappella soundtrack. Durational performances include Christian Cruz, who will be brown and unbothered during a piece entitled They tried to bury us proverb. Sarah Sudhoff confronts the politics of breastfeeding while confronting loss and failure. Hailing from New York, Nicole Goodwin immerses her nude body in flour to examine racial identity. Also from New York, Prism House + Matt O'Hare will debut "Separator", a 40-minute multichannel video and audio composition.
We are also proud to present films, experimental video and performance for camera documentation at Satellite’s official screening. Selected artists are both locally and internationally based, maintaining our efforts to merge performance communities. Among the 16 projects, our screening program features the work of award winning filmmakers, Tif Robinette + Ian Deleón (aka PULSAR) for their film, Velvet Cry, a story inspired by the 18th century hoax of Mary Toft. An unexpected character is positioned to execute karaoke in Ryan Hawk’s video, Sweet Surrender. Jessica Yatrofsky and NY FEM FACTORY’s video stars Lil’ Touches performing the story of a scorned woman “calling out” a former lover in Cunt Keeper. Award winning artist, Chun Hua Catherine Dong’s, The Sign explores the visual culture of shame in relation to the body.
LIVE PERFORMANCES BY
Christian Cruz (Dallas, TX), Serap Erincin (New Orleans, LA), Michael Anthony García (Austin, TX), Nicole Goodwin (New York, NY), Prism House + Matt O'Hare (New York, NY), Henry G. Sanchez (Houston, TX), Jim Pirtle (Houston, TX), Sick Din (Brooklyn, NY), Sarah Sudhoff (Houston, TX), Antonius-Tin Trung Bui (Houston, TX), Julia Claire Wallace (Houston, TX)
Christie Blizard (San Antonio, TX), Charles Chace and Ginger Wagg (Carrboro, NC), Chun Hua Catherine Dong (Montreal, Canada), Tif Robinette + Ian Deleón (Gainesville, FL), Kiyo Gutiérrez (Guadalajara, Mexico), Ryan Hawk (Houston, TX), Pei-Ling Ho (New York, NY), Manuel López (Daimús, Spain), Jenna Maurice (Denver, CO), Maryam Nazari (London), Alison Pirie (Brooklyn, NY), Rocha & Polse (Barcelona, Spain), Natacha Voliakovsky (Buenos Aires, Argentina), Jessica Yatrofsky and NY FEM FACTORY (New York, NY).
Full schedule here.
Performance Anxiety, a seasoned performance series produced by artist and community organizer, Ventiko, returned to NYC's Chinatown Soup earlier this month after a brief hiatus. Since 2012, the performance series has occupied many LES galleries promoting the work of over 100 performance artists. The artists for this month's relaunch promoted several New York performance veterans including Oya Damla, Uniska Wahala Kano, Sara Meghdari, Sierra Ortega, and Polina Riabova. Performance is Alive correspondent, Alex Sullivan, witnessed the bold programming and retells her experiences through a photographic lens.
"Sing out loud, in ESTHER’S HONOR!"
The final command from Ayana Evans during Panoply Performance Laboratory’s (Brooklyn, NY) closing festival, Metamorphosis (Nov 16-18) on Saturday, November 17th. Evans’ is holding her signature sparklers as neon blue & green wrist bracelets sway in the dark to the beat in nearly every hand and the room erupts in song,
“Your love is my love and my love is your love,” all faces turned towards Esther Neff.
We are two thirds of the way through performances on the second evening of the festival and so it’s time for tears, time for joy, seeing soft light in the dark, yes.
Co-founded by Esther Neff and Brian McCorkle, Panoply Performance Laboratory (or PPL) has served as a site of experimentation in performance art for nearly 7 years at it’s Meserole St. location in Bushwick. Before that, PPL's PERFORMANCY FORUM has been hosted by other sites, among them the infamous Grace Exhibition Space (which recently relocated from Brooklyn to Manhattan due to the rising price of rent). Metamorphosis marks the transition of a decade-worth of organizing and collaborative community work that has, both out of necessity and choice, resisted the gate-keeping capitalistic model of the art world, providing integral support to the performance scene in Brooklyn and beyond.
BROAD SENSE: Interviews and Event Recap
Marshall, North Carolina
By Quinn Dukes
Last October, six artists from across the United States were welcomed to the picturesque mountains of Marshall, North Carolina by curators and performance artists, Alice Vogler and Vela Oma for their multi-experiential event, Broad Sense.
I was delighted to receive an invitation to perform in Broad Sense despite the NYC stress cyclone I was managing at the time. I knew it would be a logistical challenge but the promise of nature, crisp air and performing with a group of artists that I have known and respected for years was irresistible. So, I fled NYC. Flight delays led to nearly missing my rental car pickup but I successfully retrieved my car and drove two hours to a magical place in the middle of nowhere. The next morning, I awoke to the sounds of event preparation and artist discussions of material, performance site location and politics. Collectively, the 6 of us (Sandy Huckleberry, Jeff Huckleberry, Joseph Raven, Phil Fryer (Moondrawn), Coorain Devin and yours truly) performed across multiple locations on the 7-acre property for 9 hours.
After Broad Sense concluded, I reached out to Vela, Alice and all participating artists to preserve the event's memory from multiple perspectives. Performance art documentation typically counts on visual documentation but in a campfire discussion, we realized that our collective memories write the history of performance. It was a beautiful weekend of local community exploring unknown paths in sporadic rain showers to discover durational outdoor actions. I am pleased to share the event through the words of the artists and thoughtful curators.
Performance Is Alive has partnered once again with Satellite Art Show to present Miami’s only non-stop performance art program during Miami Art Week. Alive At Satellite features live and video based performance art projects from over 20 artists across the globe. The 4-day performance program celebrates SATELLITE’s mission to honor the significant impact of performance art - an often underrepresented medium during contemporary art fairs.
This year performance artists will embrace the location shift from Miami Beach to the Ice Palace’s 33,000 sq ft parking lot in downtown Miami by exploring beyond the boundaries of a centralized performance zone. Performances are often interactive and durational, allowing the viewer to become sensorially immersed within their experience. Political protest and the quest to harness identity thru social conflict are recurring points of motivation for Alive at Satellite artists. We invite you to join us in protest, drink tea with us on the back of an artist and to witness your first (and perhaps your only) face ballet. In the true spirit of SATELLITE - no two moments will be the same.
One of Brooklyn's central performance art hubs, Panoply Performance Lab (aka PPL) concludes their 7+ years of programming at 104 Meserole Street this weekend. METAMORPHOSIS (or if you are looking at their tradition of hand-lettered show posters as seen above, METAMORHOSIS) is a 3-day performance, community potluck features performances from artists who developed their performance career with the support of the space.
Organizers note "Under the name PPL, the site has operated as a laboratory for the performance art communities of Brooklyn and beyond, home to hundreds of events, gatherings, meetings, exhibitions, think-tanking sessions, projects, and performances." As a PPL viewer and performer, I can attest to the tremendous and unyielding support offered by Esther Neff and Brian McCorkle in performance art, action art and a myriad of other live art forms. Their lab/incubator has fostered the growth of many emerging artists, collectives and think tanks. This weekend is sure to be full of community gratitude, compelling performances and a few tears.
Full schedule outlined below and on our live events listing page.
From all of us at Performance Is Alive, THANK YOU PPL!!! <3