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.